Last year, Thames Valley Police recorded the highest level of crime on Halloween compared with any other single day across the rest of the year. There was also a significant rise in urgent calls to the Police Enquiry Centre in 2011. Although Halloween always shows a peak in calls, last year showed the highest levels in five years. Across the force, 526 crimes were recorded on Halloween last year. The majority of these crimes were theft or handling stolen goods offences and criminal damage. There will be Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Special Constables and police officers on late shifts, to be able to cope with the demand Halloween brings, but also to act as a visible deterrent to anyone looking to commit crime or anti-social behaviour.
Tim De Meyer, Head of Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships said: “I know for some people, this time of year can be unsettling as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats. “Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly. “Your neighbourhood team will be carrying out patrols in the evenings to make sure people who are trick or treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance.” Halloween can be a lot of fun and we are not opposed to people wanting to have a good time, but keep in mind that it can be unsettling for some. Residents who would rather not be bothered by trick or treaters this Halloween can download and print a ‘No trick or treat’ flier from our website and display it in a window. We would like to encourage all parents, if they have children who will be going out on Halloween night, to recognise this flier and if they see it displayed in a window to move on to the next house. We will also be encouraging people to watch our ‘Click Your Trick’ film which highlights the consequences of anti-social behaviour. The film features a teenager who was convicted of arson after he and his friend put a firework through a family home as a prank in 2008. The prank went horribly wrong with the firework setting the house on fire causing damage to the house. Luckily nobody was seriously injured.
We want everybody to have fun during Halloween and Bonfire night, but don’t want children and teenagers to be influenced by others into doing things that may seem minor at the time. Please remember, your actions could have a massive impact on not only people inside their house but to your life as well. If you are trick or treating this year: Don’t knock where you see a ‘No Trick or Treat’ poster Be visible and stick to well lit streets Don’t enter any house Although Halloween is meant to be spooky, be careful not to frighten people Plan your trick or treat route before you go and let an adult know where you’ll be going and what time you will be back Go with an adult when possible If at any point you do feel nervous or unsafe: Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spy-hole, look out of a window, and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door. Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them. 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, please identify people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance. Thames Valley Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year. To report anti-social behaviour please call the 24 hour non emergency number 101. If it is a crime in progress, call 999 immediately.