With Halloween and Bonfire Night fast approaching, Northamptonshire Police is urging parents to discuss appropriate behaviour with their children to ensure an enjoyable season for all.
Officers from the Force will be working hard to make sure that those who wish to take part in trick or treating can enjoy a safe night while clamping down on people who take part in anti-social behaviour.
Officers will be taking acts of anti-social behaviour very seriously in the coming weeks and anyone playing with fireworks inappropriately can be fined.
Police have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for disorder, carrying an on the spot £80 penalty for:
+ Possession of an adult firework (not a sparkler or party popper) by an under 18 in a public place
+ Possession by a member of the public of a firework intended for a professional display
+ Use of a firework between the hours of 11pm and 7am, with the exception of 5 November, 31 December, Chinese New Year and Diwali
+ Throwing or firing a firework in the street
+ Throwing objects, including eggs and flour at people or property can be a criminal offence.
Below are some tips to help Halloween pass off in safety:
+ Parents or a responsible adult should always accompany children to make sure they stay safe
+ Identify neighbours who are willing to have trick or treat calls and make them aware of when you plan to call
+ Only trick or treat on well-lit streets
+ Don’t enter a house unless you know the residents and an adult gives you permission
+ Never get into a car to collect treats
+ Have your name and address attached to your costume
+ Use torches, stay on paths and avoid wooded areas
+ Stop at all corners and cross the road as a group
+ Plan an agreed local route and stick to it, ensuring that parents are aware of your planned whereabouts. Stay in your own neighbourhood.
+ Parents should discuss what ‘tricks’ are acceptable with their children and have an agreed return home time.
+ Costumes- ensure they are flame retardant and incorporate reflective material. Also ensure costumes are not too long or restrict movement as this could cause falls and accidents.
+ Masks – can make it hard to breathe as well as obstruct vision and hearing, especially when crossing the road. Consider using face paints and make up instead.
+ Do not enter homes – only accept treats in the doorway
+ Remember to thank people for any treats and always be polite. Have respect especially for the elderly.
+ Do not take your pet dog trick or treating – it may be frightening for the animal and intimidating to people you call on.
+ Ask an adult to check any treats received before eating them, especially homemade treats. They may contain ingredients such as nuts that you are allergic to.
There are a number of things householders can do to avoid falling victim to trick or treaters.
Northamptonshire Police has produced a specially designed ‘do not disturb’ poster and ‘trick or treaters’ are urged to respect residents’ wishes and move on if they see one displayed (posters are available from station front offices and downloadable from www.northantspolice.co.uk)
To report anyone causing noise, nuisance or ant-social behaviour contact Police by calling 08453 700700 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Northamptonshire Police wish you a very enjoyable and safe Halloween and Bonfire night