By Calvin at 07:29 GMT, 5 years ago
After an absence of just one year (for a break) we are preparing for our 2014 Halloween Party. Julia and I really go to town for our 50 guests and the raucous and terrifying behaviour goes on to the early hours. We do turn the music right down after midnight and since we are generally quiet people and only hold one noisy event at our place during the year our neighbours are very understanding and, in fact, come along!
This year, like previous, we’ll completely cover our downstairs walls with backdrops and black bin liners, exchange family photos for scary ones (mind you that means that I can leave a couple as they are), have the body in the bath, put up gruesome decorations in the house and out in the garden and put new batteries in the cackling broomstick and motorised witch and monster. We’ve got lots of new stuff to add and they’ll be a horror movie picture quiz. We’ll top that off with a selection of curries and I’m sure we’ll all have a good time. Guests will have to leave by three or risk being buried in the garden.
Why am I telling you all this?
Halloween is just a great excuse to dress up and have fun and many thousands of children will want to do that too. The trouble is that some go door-knocking unsafely or to an extent that worries people who just want to live a quiet life and not be bothered by others revelry.
I thought then that I would bring your attention to a police campaign aimed at keeping children safe and helping those who do not wish to be disturbed. Last year I referenced West Mercia Police’s campaign, but this year I’m using the information published by our friends in Hampshire Constabulary.
This is what they’ve got to say:
Every year Hampshire Constabulary's force control room receives calls from people who have been frightened or disturbed by ‘trick or treaters’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Some advice for the elderly or vulnerable members of our community staying home this Halloween:
- If you do not know who is calling at your house, you do not need to open the door
- Try to see who is at the door by looking through a spy hole or window before opening the door
- If you have a chain on your door - keep this in place when opening the door
- If you feel threatened in your home, please contact the police
If you do not want to be disturbed by trick or treaters this Halloween, download and print out a copy of the "No Trick Or Treat" poster to display by your front door.
Police advice to children and their parents is to be mindful that some of the more vulnerable or elderly members of the community do not wish to participate in Halloween activities and in fact may feel intimidated by groups of people calling at their doors.
Local shops are also displaying posters, reminding shoppers that eggs or flour will not be sold to under-16s in the days leading up to October 31.
Hampshire Constabulary has prepared some advice for children and their parents:
- If your child is going outside in a costume - make sure they are wearing reflective clothing or add reflective tape to their clothes.
- Carry a torch and consider road safety at all times.
- If your child is going out trick or treating - make sure they go out in a group, preferably accompanied by an adult.
- Older children should let you know where they are going and what time they will be back.
- Children should carry a mobile phone in a pocket or bag.
- Make sure your children know not to enter anyone's house or to accept lifts from strangers.
Although these posters are useful for everybody, no matter where you live, your own police service might be publishing their own, so it may be worth paying a visit to their websites. The links to all the police services can be found here on this website.
Have a very scary time, but keep safe and think of others.