Warm This Winter Gabriella Cilmi
A drive to tackle anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and fireworks misuse during the Halloween and Bonfire period is being launched in West Sussex.
Safer Autumn will see West Sussex County Council, District and Borough Councils and Sussex Police working together from Thursday October 28 to Sunday November 7 and include police and firefighters carrying out joint patrols in targeted areas.
They will also work with local community groups in the county's districts and boroughs to:
* Provide advice and guidance on standards of behaviour.
* Tell people about the risks to themselves and others from 'trick or treat' activity.
* Highlight the dangers of misusing fireworks.
These messages will be conveyed through a series of posters and leaflets aimed at young people and teenagers, which will be distributed to all schools, libraries and council help points throughout the county.
A leaflet for older/vulnerable people has also been designed, which can be displayed in the window of their home asking people not to visit them for trick or treat.
Sussex Police: Yes To Trick Or Treat Poster
Greg Ockwell, of the County Council's Safer Communities Team, said: "This time of year can see a rise in anti-social behaviour relating to noise, nuisance, criminal damage and fire related incidents.
"Fireworks are enjoyed responsibly by thousands of people up and down the country every year. Unfortunately, a small minority of people use fireworks irresponsibly and cause serious nuisance within their local communities.
"Anti Social Behaviour is often targeted at vulnerable citizens, such as older people or younger people, and causes significant distress to the victims.
"The more vulnerable members of our communities can fear for their own safety during this period. They can also be intimidated by 'trick or treat'."
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: "Safer Autumn is building on the success of previous joint exercises by the Fire and Rescue Service, the Police, District and Borough and other local community agencies.
"It is designed to ensure as many people as possible enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night, while at the same time protecting and reassuring the more vulnerable people in our communities.
"We want everyone to enjoy the festivals, but the message is clear – enjoy yourselves responsibly."