Dedicated patrols around Halloween and Bonfire night to tackle anti-social behaviour in the county
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Halloween is creeping up on us and Northamptonshire Police would like to remind its communities that its officers will be working to discourage anti-social behaviour and ensure a safe Halloween and Bonfire Night for everyone.
The Force has teamed up with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) to run the annual Operation Pumpkin campaign, which aims to prevent problems and promote safety around Halloween and Bonfire Night.
Dedicated high visibility police patrols will be deployed to deter anti-social behaviour, engage with communities and visit areas which have seen issues in previous years.
Local policing Chief Inspector James Willis said: “We appreciate Halloween and Bonfire Night is a fun time of year for many people, and we don’t want to stop you having a good time. However we’d like to remind everyone to behave in a responsible manner, and appreciate that not everyone wants to participate.
“What may seem like a bit of harmless fun can actually have a distinct impact on people and local communities. All the teams across Northamptonshire Police will be working hard to prevent and deter anti-social behaviour, and to provide reassurance and enforcement where necessary.”
Operation Pumpkin activities include school assembly visits by police officers and NFRS to discuss safety messages with pupils and discourage anti-social behaviour, as well as supplying ‘No trick or treat’ posters to elderly or vulnerable residents, and requesting parents and guardians to explain what these mean to children.
Chief Inspector Willis added: “We want everyone to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night responsibly, so that everyone has a good experience, including those who choose not to take part.
“Please take the time to talk with children about good trick or treat behaviour and how to stay safe, and explain that the ‘No trick or treat’ posters mean you shouldn’t knock at that house.”
To download a 'no trick or treat' poster, please visit our dedicated Operation Halloween page here: www.northants.police.uk/operationpumpkin
10 top tips to keeping safe at Halloween:
1) Keep clear of all flames such as candles and lit pumpkins, which could cause costumes to catch fire or cause burns.
2) Be careful how you dress on Halloween. Homemade costumes and some costumes bought in shops can be flammable. Decorations should also be kept away from naked flames.
3) Plan your trick or treat route beforehand. Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents. Always go in groups. Don’t go without an adult.
4) Be cautious about eating what people give you when out trick or treating. Check with an adult when you get home.
5) Be visible, stay in areas that are well lit with streetlights. Take a torch just in case.
6) Remember ‘STOP, DROP and ROLL’ if clothing catches fire. STOP where you are. Do not run. DROP to the ground. Lie down flat. ROLL over and over on the ground until flames are out.
7) Don’t wear masks that restrict your vision. You need to see when crossing roads.
8) Don’t enter any house when trick or treating, stay on the doorstep.
9) Don’t knock on doors where you see a ‘No trick or treat callers’ sign.
10) Avoid using real candles in lanterns and pumpkins. Battery operated lights are safer.
10 top tips to keeping safe on Bonfire Night:
1) Sparklers are not suitable for children under five. Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
2) Always follow the instructions on fireworks.
3) Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket.
4) Keep a bucket of water handy.
5) Stand clear of fireworks. Never return to a lit firework.
6) Light fireworks at arm’s length, using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick.
7) Position bonfires away from sheds, fences and trees.
8) Before lighting a bonfire, check the structure is sound and it does not have small children or animals hiding inside it.
9) Keep pets indoors.
10) To find out more about the laws governing firework use, please see www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law