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Police issue warning to trick-or-treaters ahead of Halloween

PUBLISHED: 10:46 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:46 31 October 2017

Halloween poster. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Halloween poster. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk constabulary is urging the public to display Halloween posters in their windows, informing trick-or-treaters whether or not to knock.

The posters are designed to facilitate a harmonious and enjoyable Halloween period for all members of the community.

The celebration is intended to be a time of festive cheer, particularly for children, however, increasingly Halloween is being marred by anti-social behaviour.

Trick-or-treating is an historic tradition in the UK, with records suggesting people went house to house in costume, asking for food, as far back as the 16th century. When carried out respectfully, the tradition strengthens neighbourly bonds and raises morale in the community.

Yet, the door-knocking custom too often morphs into anti-social behaviour, especially as youths get caught up in the excitement of the evening.

Halloween poster. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary Halloween poster. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Large groups gathered outside of doorways can easily intimidate vulnerable or elderly members of the public, as can unsolicited knocking and demands for gifts or payments.

Furthermore, the false assertion that Halloween entitles people to frighten whoever they please can cause unwarranted distress for many.

It is hoped that the Halloween posters, which can be downloaded from www.norfolk.police.uk, will allow members of the public to clearly distinguish whether or not they wish to take part in trick-or-treating, enabling door-knockers to identify where they are welcome and allowing those who do not wish to be involved to be left in peace.

Chief Superintendent, Mike Fawcett, is calling for respect and tolerance this Halloween.

Halloween poster. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary Halloween poster. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

He said: “If you are planning to go out trick or treating, please make sure you only visit those who are happy to take part and please respect residents who may not want to be disturbed.

“We are also appealing to the public in general to be a little more tolerant of the behaviour of those celebrating Halloween.

“There will be extra patrols throughout the county and each area has a specific set of initiatives for tackling any disturbances caused by unruly celebrations. Officers on will be looking out for unsafe or irresponsible behaviour, particularly offences such as egg throwing or setting off fireworks in public places - particularly as Bonfire Night approaches.”

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