Halloween is not far away and the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership is offering advice to people about staying safe if trick or treating or just staying at home.
Staff from the Partnership will be working together on Friday 31 October across the district to make sure that Halloween passes off in a safe and fun way for everyone. If you are concerned about anti-social behaviour then please report it at the time by calling Sussex Police on 101. In an emergency (a crime is in progress or there is a threat to life) please dial 999.
Trick or treating can be a fun activity for children at the end of October but other people - particularly the elderly - can sometimes feel intimidated, especially if groups of young people knock at the door late at night.
A free ‘No Trick or Treating’ flyer is available for residents who don’t want to take part to put in their windows to deter any potential trick or treaters.
The flyers are available to pick up from reception at Horsham District Council’s offices at Park North in
North Street, Horsham, as well as from Horsham Police Station in Hurst Road, Horsham, Puborough Police Station in London Road, Pulborough, and Steyning Police Station in Charlton Street, Steyning.
Sue Rogers, Chairman of the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership, said: “The perceived threat of who might be on the other side of the door can make residents feel worried about what they will find if they open it and they may be equally afraid of what the ‘trick’ might be if they do not.
We ask that if young people are out and about on Halloween and see a poster saying ‘no trick or treaters’, or don’t get a reply from a household then please leave the property alone.
Ideally we would suggest that people only knock on the door of friends or family.
It can be very easy to get over excited with the combination of a group of friends, costumes and sweets, but children and young people need to stay safe.
Groups of young children are likely to have parents or guardians watching over them, which is a good idea.
However, older groups need to make sure they stick to well lit areas that they know and make sure parents or guardians know where they’re going and what time they’re due back.
We advise that people use the following ‘Haunters’ Code’:
• Always go trick or treating with an adult
• Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents
• Don’t knock on doors where there is a ‘No Trick or Treat’ sign
• Stay in areas that are well lit with street lights – take a torch with you just in case
• Stay with your friends – don’t split in to smaller groups unless an adult goes with you
• Don’t talk to strangers on the street
• Don’t enter any house – stay on the doorstep
• Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly
• Be visible
• Look carefully before crossing the road, even if you’re part of a group
• Don’t vandalise anything or throw items like eggs and flour. This can cause a great deal of damage and misery. What’s more it can be classed as criminal damage, or even assault, and a night of ‘fun’ could end up with you in trouble with the police.”
For more information on safe trick or treating advice, contact the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership on 01403 215124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org