West Yorkshire Police is asking the public to make sure Hallowe’en is a treat for all as they gear up for one of their busiest nights of the year.
Officers are asking those taking part in festivities this year to make sure they celebrate safely, being mindful of others in the community who may be vulnerable and wish to avoid trick or treaters.
The Force has created ‘Sorry – no Trick or Treat’ posters which residents can download and display in their windows. Those out trick or treating are urged to abide by their neighbours’ wishes if they have made it clear that they do not want callers at their door.
Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, for West Yorkshire Police, said: “With Hallowe’en and then Bonfire Night around the corner, this is one of the busiest weeks of the year for officers and staff who will be working tirelessly during this period of unprecedented demand and we urge residents to think twice before they use the 999 service.”
On Hallowe’en last year, calls to 999 and 101 were up by 16 per cent compared to an average day of the week, with 999 calls alone up by 500 calls. The public are being asked wherever possible to #clickB4UCall to report non-emergency minor crime or lost property in minutes and use crime tracker to check on the progress of previously reported offences.
Chief Supt Hussain said: “West Yorkshire Police will have an increased police presence in place to offer reassurance, particularly to vulnerable residents, and to ensure people taking part in the festivities can have fun while respecting the wishes of others.
“What some people see as a bit of harmless fun can cause a great deal of anxiety for vulnerable people and Hallowe’en isn’t always an enjoyable time for all. Parents are asked to keep an eye on their children and encourage them to visit the homes of friends and neighbours rather than strangers.”
Officers are advising residents to stay safe by using chains on their doors when answering calls and by not letting strangers into their homes.
Young people out ‘trick or treating’ should keep in groups, with younger children accompanied by an adult.
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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Hallowe’en.
Area Manager for Service Delivery Chris Kirby said: “Hallowe’en can be a time for lots of family fun and we hope everyone enjoys it safely. It’s also a time when there’s a distinct increase in the number of people lighting candles which of course means a heightened risk of fire starting in people’s homes.
“However this does not need to be the case if people approach their celebrations with caution and are sensible with candles.
“The best thing you can do is to use LED candles, but failing that an adult should always supervise around the use of naked flames.”
- Use LED candle lights instead of wax candles in your pumpkins
- Ensure fancy dress costumes and any loose fitting clothes are kept away from any open flames including candles.
- If you must use candles, ensure they are placed well away from any curtains or soft furnishings.
- Keep candles away from children and pets who could knock them over
- Do not allow children to play with matches – fire-setting is not a game
- A responsible adult should always be in charge
For more information and advice via Twitter, search #WYHalloween or follow West Yorkshire Police @WestYorksPolice, West Yorkshire Police Customer Contact Centre @WYP_CCC or West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service @WYFRS