Parents are urged to ensure that children and young people follow personal safety advice before they go out to celebrate Halloween.
Many people, especially young children and teenagers, enjoy dressing up and going out to ‘trick or treat’ their neighbours and friends.
But for others, including some older people, who may feel more vulnerable after dark, Halloween can be a difficult night.
As a result, Hampshire Constabulary and the Safer North Hampshire community safety team are reminding people to comply with the following advice before they go out trick or treating:
• If your child is going outside in a costume –ensure they are wearing reflective clothing or add reflective tape to their clothes.
• Ensure you take a torch and a mobile phone.
• Ensure children/young people go out in a group, accompanied by an adult.
• Have a route planned and agree on a time they will be home.
• Ensure young people are respectful of other people’s property.
• Consider road safety at all times.
• Ensure young people know not to talk to strangers on the street or to accept lifts.
• Ensure young people know not to go inside anyone’s house.
Advice is also available for older or vulnerable members of the community, who are staying at home this Halloween and want to be left alone to enjoy their evening without disturbance:
• If you do not know who is calling at your house, you do not need to open the door.
• Look through a spy-hole or window before opening the door, if you are unsure.
• If you have a chain on your door – keep this in place when opening the door.
• If you feel threatened in your home, call the police on 999.
Councillor Simon Bound, chairman of the Safer North Hampshire Partnership, said: “We want everyone to enjoy Halloween, whether they plan to dress up and go out trick or treating or to ignore it. For those who want to celebrate the occasion, please follow our advice and ensure your children are under your supervision at all times. For those who want to be left alone to enjoy their evening, display a “no trick or treat” poster clearly in your window, and don’t open the door.”
People can discourage trick or treaters by downloading and displaying a copy of the “No trick or treat” poster from here.
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, you should identify people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance.
Anyone with any concerns about suspicious or antisocial behaviour on Halloween night is urged to contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101.