‘Have a safe, not anti-social Halloween’ say Essex Police

Halloween should be a fun event not an excuse for anti-social behaviour – that’s the message from Essex Police in the run up to the spooky festival.

Officers “want everyone to enjoy October 31 and Bonfire Night” but are urging people not to let the fun get out of hand and the force says it will be taking a firm approach to those who cause problems for others.

In the run up to Halloween police officers and PCSOs will be working with retailers to encourage them not to sell things that could cause anti-social behaviour or damage, such as eggs and flour, to young people. They have also been visiting schools to talk to students about the impact that behaviour they may perceive as fun can have on their communities.

Officers are also asking parents to make sure their children do not go trick or treating alone and to remind them only to knock on doors of people they know.

Sgt Janet Bloomfield said: “The message that I want to give young people is please don’t throw food at people or their houses. At the very least this kind of behaviour is anti-social. At worst it could reach the threshold of a criminal offence and lead to your arrest.

“If you decide to go trick or treating please take care and think carefully about which doors you knock on, particularly if you know there are elderly people living in the area.

“The most important message is that we want all children and young people to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night by keeping themselves safe and making sure they do not cause any problems in their communities.”

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Young people are encouraged to visit the 2Smart website at 2smart.co.uk/halloweento find out how to keep safe while trick or treating.

Adults who would rather not be bothered by trick of treaters can download a ‘no trick or treaters’ poster from the 2Smart website or Essex Police website, essex.police.uk. There is also a poster for shopkeepers who would like to let customers know they will be restricting the sale of eggs and flour in the run up to Halloween.

Finally Essex Police is reminding residents to call 101 should they feel concerned throughout the evening. While we ask residents to be tolerant of young people enjoying Halloween, they do not have to accept bad behaviour.