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7 November 2014
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Halloween graphic

A safe and enjoyable Halloween

Here's some help from the Police if you do not wish to be disturbed by trick or treaters...

Download a poster to say NO to Trick or Treat at your home

You can download a poster, endorsed by the Police, to print out and display prominently at your home, here:

West Mercia police in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are working closely with schools and local councils to ensure this year’s celebrations pass off as smoothly as possible.

Trick or Treaters
Trick or Treaters

Letters are being sent to schools asking children to respect residents’ wishes if they see the poster displayed on doors or in windows.

Each year officers receive calls from people concerned about young pranksters knocking on the door.

Although the vast majority of children simply want to enjoy Halloween, some see it as an opportunity to obtain money or gifts and take exception to being turned away.

For safety, children should go out in groups, accompanied by a responsible adult, trick or treat only at homes where they know they will be welcomed, and stay on the doorstep rather than going inside.

Teenagers are urged to consider the elderly and vulnerable and to stay away from developments such as sheltered housing complexes.

Targetted Police patrols

Police in the Wyre Forest area have launched 'Operation Ghost' which aims to tackle anti social behaviour around Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Wyre Forest beat manager PC Dean Cave said: "There will be targeted police patrols to ensure people behave in a manner that will not cause others fear, harassment, alarm or distress.

"The operation has run for the last three years and police will build on previous successes of reducing anti social behaviour and encouraging good and safe behaviour.

"We do not want to be spoil sports and our aim is not to stop people enjoying themselves at this exciting time of year but we would ask them to respect other people's feelings.

"Trick or treating can cause considerable misery and householders, especially elderly people living alone, can find it intimidating to have youngsters in Halloween masks knocking on their doors after dark.

Witch on broomstick
Wicked witches and ghastly ghouls

"We are appealing to young people to stay safe, be sensible, and if they are not offered a treat, to resist playing tricks which will cause alarm and distress."

Complaints about anti social behaviour traditionally rise at this time of year.

Officers are warning young people who repeatedly disturb residents by knocking at the door or ringing the doorbell are committing an offence under the Town and Police Clauses Act of 1847, which carries a jail sentence of up to 14 days or a fine of up to £1,000.

Groups of youths causing a nuisance will be dispersed and complaints of damage, nuisance and harassment will be positively dealt with.

The police are also asking shopkeepers to be responsible when selling eggs and flour.

Throwing any object, including eggs, at a person can result in a charge of assault, even if the object does not make contact.


Common assault carries a jail sentence of up to six months or fine of up to £5,000.

Throwing eggs, fruit, vegetables or other objects at property such as homes or vehicles may also amount to criminal damage, which carries a jail sentence of up to three months or fine of up to £2,500.

last updated: 11/10/05
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