West Yorkshire Police is asking the public to make sure Halloween is a treat for all as they gear up for one of their busiest nights of the year.
Officers are asking those out enjoying Halloween this year to make sure they celebrate safely, being mindful of others 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 Damien Miller said: “People should be mindful that what they see as a bit of harmless fun may cause a great deal of anxiety for elderly and vulnerable members of the community. Halloween is also no excuse for anti-social behaviour.
“The same rules apply as at any other time of the year and parents should be aware of where their children are, accompanying young children and ensuring they only visit the homes of friends and neighbours rather than strangers.”
Last year, West Yorkshire Police received nearly 2,000 999 calls on 31 October, and over 5,000 contacts overall.
“With Halloween and Bonfire Night, the next week tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for the police.” C/Supt Miller continued.
“We will have an increased neighbourhood policing presence to offer reassurance, particularly to vulnerable residents.
“If anyone is concerned for their safety or has witnessed anti-social or criminal behaviour then we would urge them to contact the police. We would ask members of the public to be mindful though of the increased demand on both our 999 and 101 call handlers and consider whether there is an online option available to them.”
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Nick Smith said: “Halloween and bonfire night is our busy time of year and we’re encouraging everyone to enjoy the festivities safely and have a great time celebrating. However we need to remember to also think of others within the community who maybe don’t enjoy this time of year so much, and treat everyone with consideration and respect.
“We’d also like to remind people to follow all the usual safety advice, such as using LED candles in pumpkins, making sure to extinguish any real candles thoroughly, and being careful around flames, especially when wearing costumes.”
You can have a two-way conversation with a member of the Customer Contact Centre team via the 101 Live Chat facility. Unlike when dealing with a 101 call, the agent can respond to a number of live chat enquiries simultaneously.
There’s also answers to lots of frequently asked questions about subjects such as trick or treating, fireworks and anti-social behaviour available at: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ask-the-police
A number of crimes or incidents such as anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and suspicious behaviour can be reported online. If you have previously reported an offence and are looking for an update, you can use the Crime Tracker to check on progress or leave a message for an officer via the website.
999 should always be used in an emergency, where there is a danger to life or crime in progress.
For more information about the options to ‘click before you call’, please visit: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/contact-us
For more information and advice via Twitter, search #WYHalloween or follow West Yorkshire Police @WestYorksPolice and West Yorkshire Police Customer Contact Centre @WYP_CCC.