This year’s Halloween is almost upon us and many people across West Yorkshire will be getting ready for the festivities – West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are urging people to enjoy the celebrations safely.
Halloween and Bonfire Night are extremely busy nights for the emergency services, calls to the 999 number can increase by as much as 20 per cent on Halloween night so the emergency services are asking people to think twice before ringing 999.
The 999 number should be used for reporting an emergency or an ongoing crime, for non emergencies, please call 101 if it is a matter for the police.
Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead, said: “West Yorkshire Police will have an increased police presence on the county’s streets to offer reassurance, particularly to vulnerable residents and to ensure people taking part in the festivities have a fun time but also respect the wishes of others.
“Halloween and Bonfire Night are two of the busiest nights of the year for the Force – we urge residents to think twice before they use the 999 service which is for reporting emergencies or ongoing crimes only.
“Parents in particular should keep a close eye on what their children are doing. What some people see as a bit of harmless fun can cause a great deal of anxiety for vulnerable people and Halloween isn’t always an enjoyable time for everyone.”
For those who don’t want trick-or-treaters to call, the West Yorkshire Police has created a ‘Sorry – no Trick or Treat’ poster to display in their windows. The poster can be downloaded at: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news/campaigns/halloween-safety-advice
As well as displaying a ‘No Trick or Treat’ poster, residents can stay safe by making sure they have chains on their doors when answering calls and by not letting strangers into their homes. This is good advice for any time of the year, not just Halloween.
Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead, went onto say: “Young people out ‘trick or treating’ should go out in groups, with younger children in particular accompanied by an adult. It’s best for groups to visit the homes of friends and neighbours, instead of strangers. Young people should also remember that elderly or vulnerable residents may prefer not to be visited on Halloween night and we would ask parents to remind children of this, and ask them to look out for the ‘No Trick or Treat’ posters.
“We want everyone to have fun and stay safe so make sure your ‘tricks’ don’t go too far. Action will be taken against those involved in anti-social behaviour. Mischievous behaviour may actually be anti-social behaviour and more serious offences can result in fines or even court action.”
West Yorkshire Police also offer ways of reporting crime online with their web-based information and reporting facility called Clickb4ucall and also a webchat. At the click of a mouse, you can read about a range of issues including anti-social behaviour, animal welfare and noise nuisance. You’ll find out who deals with the problem, what can be done about it and how to report it.
As well as preparations for Halloween, many people will be making plans for Bonfire Night celebrations next week. You’re far safer attending an organised bonfire event but if you decide to have your own fireworks, please take a few precautions to stay safe.
Buy your fireworks from a reputable outlet and take careful note of the safety instructions that come with them. Remember that only those aged 18 or over can buy fireworks. If you have any concerns about a shop selling fireworks to people you believe are under 18, please contact your local neighbourhood policing team via the non-emergency 101 number.