Parents in Northamptonshire are being warned not to allow their children to go out ‘trick or treating’ with eggs and flour on Halloween.
During October, Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued expert advice on how to stay safe on October 31.
As part of Operation Pumpkin, Police Community Support Officers are also visiting many local schools in a bid to help reduce antisocial behaviour and keep youngsters out of danger while festivities take place.
General police tips on staying safe at Halloween include:
· Children should refrain from knocking on doors where a ‘no trick or treat’ sign has been posted.
· Children should always go trick or treating with an adult.
· Trick or treating routes should be planned beforehand, to only include houses where the residents are known.
· Groups of trick or treaters should remain in areas that are well lit with streetlights, and should always bring a torch with them.
· Trick or treat visitors should not talk to strangers in the street and should not enter any house they visit, but should remain on the doorstep.
· Although Halloween is supposed to be spooky, anyone taking part in a trick or treat should be careful not to frighten people.
· All Halloween costumes, whether homemade or purchased from a shop, should be kept away from candles or other naked flames.
· Avoid creating homemade lanterns using candles, hollowed pumpkins, plastic bottles or other containers as these can be hazardous. There is always the risk of the candle setting light to other materials such as costumes, furniture or curtains.
· Make sure any Halloween costumes worn are marked as flame resistant.
· Do not use flammable materials to make homemade costumes.
· Any candles used in the home should be extinguished completely at night and kept away from children.
· Make sure children do not go trick or treating equipped with eggs and flour.
· Do not answer the door to people you do not know or who you are not expecting, as there is always the possibility that distraction burglars could use seasonal events such as Halloween to attempt to gain access to people’s properties.
· Make sure all anti-social behaviour is reported by calling 999 if it is an emergency or a crime is in progress, or 101 for non- emergencies.
Police Cadets have been out in the Wellingborough area delivering ‘no trick or treating’ posters that people can display in their homes.
In Wellingborough there will also be information points set up in some major shops, where local people can seek crime prevention and safety advice.
Police information points will be open:
-October 23, 10am-4pm, at Tesco, Wellingborough.
-October 24, 10am-4pm, at Morrison’s, Wellingborough.
-October 25, 10am-4pm, at B & Q, Wellingborough.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service members will also be giving out community safety messages in New Street, Daventry, on October 30 from 10am to 1pm.
Paul Golley, Prevention Team Leader within the Prevention and Community Protection Department for Northamptonshire Police and Fire, said: “Although lots of people like to have a bit of ‘ghostly’ fun during Halloween, it is very important to us that youngsters across the county know how to behave well, act responsibly and stay out of trouble.
“Work has been carried out in schools and in the wider community to try to prevent potential problems such as anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, which can be an unwelcome part of activities such as trick or treating.”
To download Halloween and Bonfire Night safety advice, visit www.northants.police.uk and click on the Halloween and Bonfire Night link on the homepage.