Hampshire Constabulary’s Neighbourhoods and Partnership lead Chief Inspector Jerry Patterson said:
“Every year, Hampshire Constabulary’s force control room receives calls from people who have been frightened or disturbed by trick or treaters in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
“Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for Hampshire Constabulary and police officers will be targeting hotspot areas across the two counties during Halloween and Bonfire Night to ensure that people are respecting others in their local neighbourhood.
“We’re not saying that we don’t want people to have fun at Halloween, we just want to impress upon those taking part the need to behave appropriately and to be considerate of others.”
Police advice to children and their parents is to be mindful that some of the more vulnerable or elderly members of the community do not wish to participate in Halloween activities and in fact they may feel intimidated by groups of people calling at their doors.
Advice for the elderly or vulnerable members of our community staying home this Halloween includes the following:
If you do not know who’s calling at your house you do not need to open the door.
Try to see who’s at the door by looking through a spy hole or window before opening the door.
If you have a chain, keep this in place when opening the door.
If you feel threatened in your home contact the police.
To report any incidents of anti-social behaviour call Hampshire Constabulary on 101. Only dial 999 in an emergency.
Local shops are also displaying posters, reminding shoppers that eggs or flour will not be sold to under-16s in the days leading up to October 31, 2013.
Hampshire Constabulary has prepared some advice for children and their parents:
If your child is going outside in a costume – make sure they’re wearing reflective clothing or add reflective tape to their clothes.
Carry a torch and consider road safety at all times.
If your child is going out trick or treating – make sure they go out in a group, preferably accompanied by an adult.
Older children should let you know where they’re going and what time they will be back.
Children should carry a mobile phone in a pocket or bag.
Make sure your children know not to enter anyone’s house or to accept lifts from strangers.
Residents are also being encouraged to visit www.crimereports.co.uk to see what has been happening in their area during the run-up to and across Halloween.