Police warning on trick or treat
8:00pm Sunday 20th October 2013 in Latest News
POLICE have made a plea to trick or treaters to curb any anti-social behaviour this Halloween.
The annual event sees youngsters take to the streets donning a range of horror-inspired costumes, but the authorities are keen not to see a repeat of the violence that marred last year’s festivities, when a gang of teenagers armed themselves with weapons to violently rob four boys.
A 16-year-old girl and five boys, aged 14 to 17, had dog chains, a metal bar, a wooden mallet and a screwdriver, as well as ski masks and balaclavas, as they prowled for victims on Halloween 2012.
They were jailed earlier this year. Wiltshire Police Superintend-ent Matt Pullen said officers would take violent and anti-social behaviour that causes distress to residents seriously.
He said: “Trick or treating can cause distress and misery for some members of the public and it is important to highlight that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
This year October 31 falls on a Thursday and Wiltshire Police and Swindon Community Safety Partnership are encouraging young people to be safe and respect others.
They are also urging parents and carers to help keep children and young people safe and to encourage them to act responsibly.
Richard Palusinski, the Head of Community Safety at Swindon Community Safety Partnership, said: “We want people to have fun and enjoy Halloween. Taking part in trick or treating is a great activity young people like to get involved in within their communities.
“However, it is important that they understand the impact it can have on others. "Working together with Wiltshire Police Neighbourhood Policing Teams we have plans in place to help tackle anti-social behaviour, which includes liaising with key members of local communities and increasing patrols in targeted areas.
“In Swindon we have a number of local activities that young people can do so that they are not drawn into behaviour that may cause upset to others, including Street Games Swindon.”
Supt Pullen, the head of Local Policing South, said: “Halloween is an exciting time of the year and we want people to enjoy it.
“We want to continue the downward trend in anti-social behaviour at this time of year and by following some simple advice, young people can minimise any distress they cause and reduce the likelihood of them being drawn into anti-social activities.”
Police have issued advice to youngsters and also to homeowners this Halloween, including only visiting a house where you, or the people you are with, know the occupants, staying in well-lit areas and taking a torch, and not frightening vulnerable people, especially the elderly.
Throwing eggs and flour at someone’s propert, could carry a charge of criminal damage, an offence which can result in a three-month jail sentence or a fine of up to £2,500, while repeatedly disturbing residents by door knocking is an offence under the Town and Police Clauses Act, which can carry a jail sentence of up to 14 days or a fine of up to £1,000.
A poster has been produced for people who do not want to receive trick or treat callers, which is is available to download at www.wiltshire.police.uk.
Details on the Street Games are on Twitter @StreetGamesSN or via Facebook on ‘StreetGamesSwindon.
Comments are closed on this article.