As families look forward to having fun on Halloween and Bonfire Night, Cheshire Police are asking everyone to consider their neighbours when they are celebrating. Often some of the most vulnerable people who live in our communities dread this time of year especially if they are on their own as they can feel intimidated by trick or treaters and scared of people setting off fireworks near their homes.
Anti-social behaviour is more prevalent during Halloween and Bonfire celebrations as some people believe their own enjoyment comes first. Cheshire Police′s message is simple; officers will robustly challenge anyone committing anti-social behaviour over the coming fortnight.
As part of the National Association of Chief Police Officers′ In Focus week, Cheshire officers will be focusing their attention on taking action to crack down on incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Inspector Gareth Woods, of Communities Unit, Cheshire Police Lead for ASB, said
"Remember remember this October and November that not everyone enjoys this time of year. Think about other people who live near you and be respectful of how your celebrations might impact on your neighbours.
"We want to encourage victims of persistent anti-social behaviour to pick up the phone, and report it to the police, but to also be aware that there is support available and they do not have to feel isolated.
"Tackling anti-social behaviour is a year-long priority for us, but it′s prominence increases in the days and weeks around Halloween and Bonfire Night. Cheshire Police and our partners have a range of tactics in place to deal swiftly with any anticipated problems. If any members of the public want to report persistent incidents of anti-social behaviour, contact us on 101 for non-emergencies and 999 if it is an emergency.
"It is important that parents, schools and the police play our parts in teaching young people to respect that trick or treating is not fun for everyone, in particular for vulnerable people who find it frightening to answer the door after dark."
The police will also be working with Trading Standards visiting licensed premises to target illegal alcohol sales to underage children which can be a contributory factor of anti-social behaviour being committed.
As part of the focus on anti-social behaviour, School Liaison and School Based Officers will be talking to pupils and staff in local schools and colleges, and uniform and plain clothes officers will be deployed into areas where ‘hotspots′ need to be dealt with.
At this time of the year the ‘Special′ contribution of volunteers in the Special Constabulary is heavily relied upon to support local policing efforts in local communities.
Specials Chief Officer Brian Woodward said, "The Special Constabulary draw from a diverse section of our community and will be out in large numbers supporting regular officers during Halloween. Many Specials are parents themselves so understand the need to balance the excitement of the occasion with the need for staying safe."
While anti-social behaviour is showing a decline across parts of the county, public perception of ASB remains high. Understanding what ASB means to the public, how people recognise and can be unknowingly victimised by it, and more importantly how they can report it, will be addressed as part of this week.
Cheshire Police will be tweeting all week from 28 October using #ASB and #trickortreat. You can also visit cheshire.police.uk for more information on how ASB could affect you and how to report it.
If anyone would like a trick or treat flyer to display in their window this week, these are available for the public to download at cheshire.police.uk or via the local police stations.