Police issue Hallowe'en advice

Police are reminding parents in Northumberland to think about their child's safety this Hallowe'en if they are planning to go trick or treating.

Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 2:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 4:32 pm
Police are giving Hallowe'en advice to parents.

Officers want to ensure that children who are allowed to take part in Hallowe’en activities without any apparent adult supervision, do so safely.

In previous years, officers have received calls from elderly people who have felt intimidated by youngsters dressing up in spooky costumes and knocking on doors asking for treats, when this is something the adults called on don’t wish to take part in.

Chief Inspector Aidan Sloan, from Northern Area Command, said: “Responsible parents know they need to plan ahead for Hallowe’en and arrange visits for their youngsters at the homes of friends and family who are expecting such callers.

“We also want parents to think about the safety of young children alone out in the dark without an adult, as of course they can be very vulnerable. We would always advise that they have an adult with them.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Trick or treat can be enjoyable for those who are happy to take part in an organised event. But for others who find it inflicted upon them, it can easily become a nuisance or lead to intimidation, particularly if the youngsters are not known to them, are persistent and become unpleasant if the householder has nothing to offer them.

“Hallowe’en isn’t an event that everyone wants to celebrate and it can be annoying for residents to have to keep getting up to answer their door to strangers who are asking for sweets. It can also leave vulnerable people feeling scared and worried because of uninvited trick or treating, so we would ask people to be considerate and think about the effects of their behaviour on others this Hallowe’en.”

Police are offering the following advice to parents:

○ Plan ahead and preferably visit homes where people are expecting you;

○ If a householder does not want to take part, respect their wishes and do not persist, this can be frightening for some residents;

○ If your children are taking part in trick or treat, always make sure they are accompanied by an appropriate adult;

○ Never let children go into a stranger’s house;

○ If you are concerned for an elderly or vulnerable neighbour invite them into your home for the evening, or offer them your telephone number for reassurance.

Anyone with any concerns about crime or disorder where they live should contact their Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.