Warwickshire Police launch crackdown on antisocial behaviour for Halloween

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POLICE are offering advice to ghosts, witches and ghouls, as well as the public this Halloween to make sure October 31 is enjoyable for everyone.

Posters have been distributed to schools and colleges in Warwickshire reminding ghoulish trick or treaters not to knock on the doors of strangers and to please only go to people you know and never into a stranger’s house.

If households are displaying no trick or treat posters please respect this and visit those that are welcoming visitors - often those displaying illuminated pumpkins and decoration.

Adults should always accompany children when trick or treating. Young people should never go trick or treating alone.

Halloween marks the end of summer, the clocks have gone back and the nights are darker so always keep to well-lit areas. Wear bright clothing and always carry a torch. Remember road safety.

One theory around dressing up as a ghost is that it was done to scare off other ghosts at a time of year when Pagan Celts believed the walls between our world and the next became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through.

Be careful though not to frighten vulnerable people and unless prearranged, do not visit elderly members of the community.

Keep your tricks within the law - anything that results in damage is an offence and will be dealt with as such.

Supt Bob Musgrove, Head of Warwickshire’s Neighbourhood Policing said: “Whilst latest statistics indicate antisocial behaviour is down with 1,005 fewer incidents between April to September 2012 compared with the same period in 2011, safer neighbourhood teams and special constables will be on patrol to ensure this trend continues.

Police are working with local shops to crackdown on antisocial behaviour and disorder by asking them not to sell flour and eggs to people under the age of 18 during Halloween unless accompanied by an adult. Posters have been distributed to shops across the county.

“Sorry no trick or treat this Halloween posters are available to any members of the public who do not want people to knock on their door. These are available from front offices, your local safer neighbourhood team, or can be downloaded from the websites detailed below.

“Please support your neighbour and make contact with your Safer Neighbourhood Team if you had problems last year to build into our confidence patrols.”

Specials Chief Officer Glyn Gardner said: “We will have a large number of Special constables supporting safer neighbourhood teams to provide extra patrols. We want everyone to enjoy themselves however anyone acting in an antisocial manner or who is carrying eggs or flour may be fined or arrested if their intention is to cause harm or distress to others.”

He added: “Warwickshire historically records an increase in anti-social behaviour during the period between Halloween and Bonfire Night which coincides with the school half term holiday this year.

“The anti-social behaviour can include aggressive ‘trick or treating’, misuse of fireworks, under age drinking and criminal damage.”

“As well as working alongside safer neighbourhood teams to provide additional patrols, we will also be tweeting advice and information about Halloween before and during the evening to reassure the community and let people know what we are doing to reduce any antisocial behaviour.”