Have fun but respect each other this Halloween
Residents in the county are once again being reminded to display Halloween posters in their homes to let trick-or-treaters know if they are welcome or not.
Halloween should be a fun celebration, with children enjoying dressing up as ghosts, witches or other assorted monsters, and visiting neighbouring householders happy to hand over sweets to, as superstition suggests, ward off evil spirits.
While it’s an exciting time for some, those who enjoy the seasonal highlights, should also bear in mind that there are members of the community who may not wish to take part.
To help householders and businesses in the run up to the day, two posters are available to download from the Suffolk police website, indicating whether they would welcome trick-or-treaters or not. The posters can be downloaded from the download section on this page.
Police are also urging trick-or-treaters to act responsibly and to respect others in their community on what is a traditionally a busy evening for the police.
Last year Suffolk police recorded 57 calls as anti-social behaviour (ASB) between 31 October and 1 November. Of these calls, 11 calls mentioned Halloween related incidents.
A total of 71 calls were recorded as ASB in 2017 and of these calls, four calls related to Halloween.
Community Engagement and Crime Reduction Sergeant Steve Wright said: “Halloween can be a fun night for all and we want to ensure it’s safe for everyone as well; Halloween should not be an excuse for anti-social behaviour.
“If you’re planning to go out trick-or-treating, please stay with your friends and only knock on doors of residents that you know want to take part in the evening.
“Officers will be out conducting patrols during the run up to Halloween and while we know the vast majority of people we encounter will be acting responsibly and considerately to others, there may also be those people who get carried away.
“We would like to remind you that anyone that is deliberately scaring people or throwing eggs will be not be tolerated and those caught will be dealt with appropriately.
"While there was an increase in calls relating to Halloween anti-social behaviour last year, we want to reduce the number so we’d ask people to follow our safety advice which includes never going trick-or-treating alone, staying in well-lit areas, and not going inside the houses of strangers.”
Retailers across the county are also being encouraged to restrict the sale of eggs and flour to young people in the run up to Halloween, and are being reminded of the legal requirements when it comes to selling fireworks. It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under 18 and to sell fireworks that fly erratically including mini rockets and bangers.
During the Halloween and Bonfire Night period, safety messages will be posted from Suffolk Constabulary’s social media accounts.
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "Trick-or-treating can be great fun, and I don’t want to spoil that fun, but I would ask that those taking part keep themselves safe and be respectful to others.
"For those on the receiving end of trick-or-treaters, particularly the old and vulnerable, it can be quite an upsetting experience. My message to anyone planning to go trick-or-treating is, by all means enjoy yourselves and have fun, but please give some thought to those who don’t want to join in. The safest option is to only visit people you know.”
If you do have any concerns, please call 999 in an emergency, or call 101 for non-emergency assistance. Help us keep our communities safe by reporting any suspicious activity.
Alternatively, please pass useful information about any incident via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/report-crime.
Tips for having a "spookerific” Halloween
• Never go trick or treating alone or split up from your friends.
• Always check with your parents or carer first.
• Only go to houses where you or your friends know who lives there.
• Don’t talk to strangers on the street or go off with them.
• Stay in well-lit areas.
• Ensure you can be seen by wearing reflective clothing and carry a torch.
• Take care when crossing roads - it may be hard to see so well in a costume.
• Although Halloween is about looking spooky, be careful not to frighten those who do not want to take part.
• Eggs and flour make a mess - most shops won’t sell them to under-16s over Halloween.