With Halloween fast approaching, Dorset Police is reminding the public to enjoy the festivities safely but to ensure they respect others.
Enhanced patrols will be carried out by officers on Halloween evening, Friday 31 October, as well as the weekend following to ensure members of the public enjoy a safe and trouble free Halloween.
For the third year running, anti-social behaviour has continued to fall in Dorset. Between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 there has been a 9% reduction in reports of anti-social behaviour when compared with the same period the previous year.
Chief Superintendent Jane Newall said: “We appreciate that people want to go out and enjoy the Halloween festivities and go trick or treating but, it is important to respect the views of others who do not want to participate and/or may be vulnerable for a number of reasons.
“If homes are displaying ‘No trick or treating’ signs, then please politely move on.
“Think about members of your community who might find this time of year more intimidating, think about your neighbours who may not wish to be disturbed e.g. parents with a new baby and think about your own safety.
“Anti-social behaviour continues to reduce in Dorset and during this time we will have extra patrols in communities to ensure that we continue to take appropriate action against anyone found to be committing crime or anti-social behaviour.”
Safer Neighbourhood Teams across Dorset have been handing out Halloween posters encouraging the public to ‘Have fun on Halloween but please have respect for others’.
A notice has also been made available to residents for them to display during Halloween asking trick or treaters not to call at that property.
A further poster has been created for shops to display informing customers that they will not be selling eggs, flour or fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 during the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.
All of these materials are available to view and download on the Dorset Police website at www.dorset.police.uk.
Trick or treating safety advice:
Trick or treaters should always have adult supervision
Only call on friends, family or neighbours – and ideally this should be arranged in advance
Respect the rights of those who do not want to take part
Do not accept money and be grateful for any treats
Do not play tricks on people – these can be frightening and could even be a criminal offence
Make sure you can be seen – don’t forget it gets dark earlier and if you are wearing dark clothing you may not be easily seen!
Criminal damage – which includes vandalism and throwing objects like eggs and flour – can result in a fine or even a prison sentence