27 October 2016
Dorset Police and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding the public to enjoy the festivities safely and to respect those who choose not to participate.
Anti-social behaviour over the Halloween period has been declining since 2014 in Dorset and police are asking the public to help keep these statistics down.
Chief Inspector Mike Claxton said: “We are well aware that people want to enjoy the Halloween festivities, including going trick or treating, and the last thing we would want to do is spoil anyone’s fun. We just ask that people are respectful to those who don’t want to participate.
“Our advice is to ensure that trick or treaters are always supervised by an adult, and only call at properties which are known to them. Ideally, these visits should be arranged in advance.
“If homes are displaying ‘No trick or treating’ signs, or residents ask you to move on, please do so politely.
“There are members of our communities who might find this time of year intimidating. Vulnerable people may be distressed if they are disturbed by people they do not know, particularly late at night.
“Halloween is an opportunity for people to enjoy themselves: it is not an excuse to make people feel uncomfortable, scared or to participate in anti-social behaviour.
“Put yourselves in the position of those who do not want to take part, including vulnerable people, parents with a new baby or shift workers, and also think about your own safety.”
As well as thinking about personal safety when out celebrating Halloween, police are also urging the public to follow advice from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue (DWFRS).
DWFRS Group Manager Karen Adams said: “We don’t want to stop people enjoying Halloween, but we do want them to celebrate safely. There is nothing more terrifying than having a fire at home or seeing your clothes catch fire.
“If you’re making homemade lanterns, think carefully about the fire risks, particularly the possibility of the candle falling over. It is far safer to use flickering LED candles rather than real candles in pumpkins and as part of displays.
“If you do use candles, make sure they are not placed in an area where they are likely to be knocked over. Keep them away from curtains, cushions and draughts and always extinguish them when you go to bed. Never let children carry lit candles or lanterns with candles in them.
“Make sure any fancy dress costumes and masks are labelled as flame-resistant and don’t use flammable materials to make home-made costumes. Be especially careful about using bin liners as capes.
“If you’re using decorative lights in your home, do not allow electricity sockets to be overloaded and always switch them off at the socket overnight. Following this simple advice will help to ensure you have a happy and safe Halloween.”
A notice is available to residents which can be displayed during the Halloween period, asking trick or treaters not to call at their property.
A poster has also been created for shops to display, informing customers that they will not be selling eggs or flour to anyone under the age of 18 over the Halloween period. Throwing objects like eggs and flour is criminal damage and can result in a fine or even a prison sentence.
These resources can be downloaded from the Dorset Police website, where further safety advice is also available.
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