Those celebrating Hallowe’en over this week are being urged to stay safe and consider the wellbeing of others who may be vulnerable and wish to avoid trick or treaters.
Neighbourhood Policing Teams will provide additional patrols during this period and special constables will work with police officers and police community support officers to provide extra cover.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the Police and has issued some advice around the safe use of candles.
The Force has created ‘Sorry – no Trick or Treat’ posters which residents can download and display in their windows. Those out trick or treating are urged to abide by their neighbours’ wishes if they have made it clear that they do not want callers at their door. The posters are available on the West Yorkshire Police website
Assistant Chief Constable Tim Kingsman said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy this period whether they wish to get involved in Hallowe’en celebrations or not. What some people see as a bit of harmless fun can cause a great deal of anxiety for vulnerable people and Hallowe’en isn’t always an enjoyable time for everyone.
“Friends and family members of older and vulnerable people who don’t want trick or treaters calling at their door are encouraged to print off our ‘No trick or treat’ poster for display in their homes. They should also remind them of sensible security precautions such as making sure they have chains on their doors when answering calls and not letting strangers into their homes. This is good advice at any time, not just Hallowe’en.
“Again, for those out ‘trick or treating’, the same rules apply as at any other time of the year. Young people should go out in groups, with younger children in particular accompanied by an adult. We would also encourage people to visit the homes of friends or neighbours instead of strangers.
“Hallowe’en should not be used as a backdrop for anti-social behaviour and any ‘tricks’ which cross the line into criminality will be dealt with appropriately.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager for Service Delivery Chris Kirby said: “Hallowe’en can be a time for lots of family fun and we hope everyone enjoys it safely. It’s also a time when there’s a distinct increase in the number of people lighting candles which of course means a heightened risk of fire starting in people’s homes.
“However this does not need to be the case if people approach their celebrations with caution and are sensible with candles.
“The best thing you can do is to use LED candles, but failing that an adult should always supervise around the use of naked flames, and ensure they do not come into contact with loose fitting Halloween costumes.
“We reiterate the Police’s message that Halloween is not an excuse for anti-social behaviour and we urge people to be thoughtful of those who may not enjoy this time of year.”
Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are two of the busiest nights of the year for the emergency services and residents are urged to think twice before phoning 999, which should be used for reporting emergencies or ongoing crimes only.
There are a number of options to ‘click before you call’ on the West Yorkshire Police website which gives information on which organisation deals with various issues such as misuse of fireworks, vandalism, graffiti and noise nuisance and provides the opportunity to report police issues online.
West Yorkshire Police also has a 101 Live Chat facility which enables people to talk to a member of the Customer Contact Centre team without having to phone the police. For those wishing to talk to someone on the phone about a non-emergency matter, they can still use the 101 number.
For more information and advice via Twitter, search #WYHalloween or follow West Yorkshire Police @WestYorksPolice, West Yorkshire Police Customer Contact Centre @WYP_CCC or West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service @WYFRS