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Hollowe'en Irritations?

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With Halloween fast approaching, police are reminding people to make sure that they spend their time trick-or-treating responsibly.

Many residents enjoy Halloween and view it as harmless fun, but for others (particularly the elderly and those living alone) it can be distressing to receive visits from unexpected callers.

The neighbourhood police teams in the Thames Valley will be undertaking high-visibility patrols over the Halloween period to deal with any anti-social behaviour. They also work with schools and parents to reduce the incidents of nuisance and criminal damage that can happen at this time of year.

You can download and print a 'No trick-or-treat' from this page (click on the PDF below the image) and display it in a window or visit your local station to pick up a copy.

If you or your children see this flyer displayed, please move on to the next house. Most people will have a pumpkin or Halloween decorations on display to welcome callers.

Thames Valley Police will also be encouraging people to watch their 'Click Your Trick' film which highlights the consequences of anti-social behaviour. The film features a teenager who was convicted of arson after he and his friend put a firework through a family home as a prank in 2008. The prank went horribly wrong with the firework setting the house on fire. Luckily nobody was seriously injured.

We want everybody to have fun during Halloween and Bonfire night, but don't want children and teenagers to be influenced by others into doing things that may seem minor at the time. Please remember, your actions could have a massive impact on not only people inside their house but to your life as well.

Don't let Halloween become a terrifying experience for all the wrong reasons, warn fire fighters. John Robinson, station Manager from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service community safety team, 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.

"Just follow this safety advice for a safer Halloween: never make costumes from flammable materials, always check costumes and masks are labelled as flame resistant, keep candles away from children and ensure they are extinguished at night, and do not overload electricity sockets with lightings."

If you are trick-or-treating this year:

  • Don't knock where you see a 'No Trick-or-Treat' poster.
  • Be visible and stick to well-lit streets.
  • Although Halloween is meant to be spooky, be careful not to frighten people.
  • Plan your trick-or-treat route before you go and let an adult know where you'll be going and what time you will be back.
  • Go with an adult when possible.

If at any point you do feel nervous or unsafe:

  • Don't open your door if you're unsure who is there. Use your spy-hole, look out of a window, and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
  • Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.
  • If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween.
  • If you are a coordinator, please identify people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance.

Thames Valley Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.

To report anti-social behaviour please call the 24 hour non-emergency number 101. If it is a crime in progress, call 999 immediately.

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