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The trick to having a happy Halloween in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:15 26 October 2010

TRICK or treaters across Suffolk are being urged by police to take a responsible attitude to Halloween this year and ensure that it is a happy and safe time for everyone, whether young or old.

Leading up to Halloween, officers from local Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been visiting schools with the aim of educating children on how to behave responsibly within the community. They have also been working with retailers, encouraging them to display posters stating that flour and eggs will not be sold to under-16’s who are not accompanied by an adult in the run up to the celebrations.

Halloween celebrations can often involve young people taking part in trick or treat actvities. Unfortunately, in previous years this has involved a minority of youngsters throwing eggs and flour at houses or people after the occupants decline to give them a treat.

Police are warning trick or treaters that the damage caused by egg throwing will be treated as criminal damage and those caught throwing eggs will be prosecuted. If they are found guilty this will result in a criminal record.

A second poster produced by Suffolk police asks parents to think about the safety of their children and asks if they would normally let their children call on a stranger’s home unsupervised. These posters will be put up around the county and have been widely distributed to schools and businesses.

Finally, as with previous years, a poster has been produced for those people who do not want to take part in the celebrations to put in their window. It states: “The occupants of this house kindly ask you not to call on Halloween. Please respect our wishes.” Copies of this poster can be collected from local police stations, or can be printed via the Suffolk Police website at www.suffolk.police.uk under the Crime Reduction section or the Suffolk Police Facebook site at www.facebook.com/suffolkpolice.

It is hoped that the privacy of those people who clearly indicate that they do not wish to be involved in Halloween will be respected and trick or treaters will move on.

Chief Inspector Kerry Pauling said: “We are not trying to spoil the fun of Halloween but we would like trick or treaters to recognise that some people, particularly elderly or vulnerable, might be distressed by strangers knocking at their door during the evening. So we are asking people not to call at houses displaying one of the posters.

“Extra patrols will be in place throughout the county with the primary aim being to make sure that the evening is peaceful and the number of disturbances are kept to a minimum. We want to ensure that Halloween is a happy and safe time for everyone, whether young or old.

Therefore, not only are we appealing to the younger members of the community to act responsible but also to the general public to be a little more tolerant of the high spirits of people celebrating the event.”

Suffolk Constabulary is offering top tips for young people this Halloween to help them enjoy their evening without causing distress or alarm to others:

· Always be accompanied by an adult when you are trick-or-treating.

· Only go to houses of people that you know and who are happy for you to call.

· Stay safe, keep to places that you know and are well lit. Do not take short cuts through gardens, alleyways or parks.

· Watch out for traffic - drivers might not see you.

· If you are wearing a mask, make sure that you can see where you are going and are aware of your surroundings.

Suffolk Police are also urging residents to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour on the run up to Halloween to the force on 01473 613500.

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