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Trick or treaters across Suffolk and Norfolk are being urged by police to take a responsible attitude to Halloween this year and ensure that it is a happy and safe time for everyone, whether young or old.
In the run up to Halloween, Safer Neighbourhood Teams are working with shops, asking them to display posters stating that flour and eggs will not be sold to under-16's who are not accompanied by an adult in the few days before Halloween.
Police are telling Heart that any damage caused by egg throwing will be treated as criminal damage, and those caught throwing eggs will be prosecuted. If they are found guilty this will result in a criminal record.
A second poster asks parents to think about the safety of their children and asks if they would normally let their children call on a stranger's home unsupervised. These posters are being widely distributed to schools and businesses.
If people don't want to be bothered by trick or treaters this Halloween, a third poster is available to place in the front door or window of your home, or that of a vulnerable neighbour or relative.
Extra police officers are being put on patrol in both counties for the busy holiday periods.
Chief Inspector Kerry Cutler from Suffolk Police said, "We are not trying to spoil the fun of Halloween but we would like trick or treaters to recognise that some people, particularly the elderly or vulnerable, might be distressed by strangers knocking at their door during the evening. So we are asking people not to call at houses displaying this poster.
Extra patrols will be in place throughout the county, with the primary aim being to make sure that the evening is peaceful and the number of disturbances are kept to a minimum. We want to ensure that Halloween is a happy and safe time for everyone, whether young or old. Therefore, not only are we appealing to the younger members of the community to act responsibly, but also to the general public to be a little more tolerant of the high spirits of people celebrating the event."
Chief Inspector Gavin Tempest, representing Norfolk Community Safety Partnership, said: "We want everyone to have an enjoyable Halloween. We understand that trick or treating has become an exciting tradition for youngsters. However, Halloween can be a distressing time of year for some vulnerable members of the community and we would ask trick or treaters to respect the wishes of those who choose not to mark the occasion.
Last year's event passed without major incident thanks to the consideration of trick or treaters for those who didn’t want to take part in Halloween and we hope to see a repeat of that this year.
The same applies for Bonfire Night - we urge everyone to have fun, stay safe and respect residents in their neighbourhood."
Police are offering the following top tips to parents and young people, to help everyone enjoy their evening without causing distress or alarm to others:
- Always be accompanied by an adult when you are trick-or-treating.
- You should only go to houses of people that you know and who are happy for you to call.
- Stay safe, keep to places that you know and are well lit. Do not take short cuts through gardens, alleyways or parks.
- Watch out for traffic - drivers might not see you.
- If you are wearing a mask make sure that you can see where you are going and are aware of your surroundings.
- Carry a torch and a fully charged mobile phone (if you have one).
You can follow the links to see what the posters look like.