Be safe and respectful this Halloween!
In the run up to Halloween, those who expect to be out and about in Cleveland neighbourhoods, should have fun, be safe but always be respectful of the communities they live in.
Trick-or-treating provides a lot of enjoyment to those who participate in this age-old practice but not everyone gets involved and this should always be taken into account.
When the clocks go back in late October, it gets darker earlier so anyone out trick-or-treating should make sure they are safe and visible. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult and properties should not be approached if unknown or in darkness.
Many residents hand over sweets or biscuits to children who have dressed up and are having fun, but occasionally groups of young people can knock on every door (whether they know the residents or not) demanding money or gifts and sometimes threatening vandalism.
This can be a frightening and intimidating experience for some residents who won’t normally answer the door at this time of year. So, if you are trick-or-treating, then please help to keep your neighbourhood a safe and happy place to live by understanding that some people won’t take part.
Neighbourhood Watch have created some posters which can be put in windows to show if Halloween visitors are welcome or not:
If you are going trick or treating, here is some tips to keep you safe:
- Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult.
- Be visible - wear light coloured clothing or reflective material to be sure you can be seen. Maybe take a torch or light stick with you but keep them switched on.
- If children are going trick or treating unaccompanied, ensure parents know where they are going and that a responsible member of the group can phone home.
- Never approach a house unless your family knows them well.
- Never ask for money.
- Always be polite and never cause damage to anyone's property.
Cleveland Police has also recently launched Operation Autumnus. This is a multi-agency initiative to address seasonal crime (particularly criminal damage and ASB) where neighbourhood officers visit primary and secondary schools across the force area, to drive home messages on how to stay safe and how to stay out of trouble.
Residents should also register with Cleveland Connected to stay informed (www.clevelandconnected.co.uk). It’s a new free web system, which sends messages to email, mobile phone or home telephone on crimes happening in areas across Teesside. It also allows people to reply back with intelligence to police and partners.
Posted on Thursday 30th October 2014