THE police are urging people who want to keep trick or treaters at arm’s length this Halloween to display a 'No Trick or Treat' poster near their front door.
The poster can be downloaded and printed from www.hampshire.police.uk
Hampshire Constabulary’s Neighbourhoods and Partnership officer, Ch Insp Jerry Patterson, said: "Every year, Hampshire Constabulary’s force control room receives calls from people who have been frightened or disturbed by trick or treaters in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.
"Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for Hampshire Constabulary and police officers will be targeting hotspot areas across the two counties during Halloween and Bonfire Night to ensure people are respecting others in their neighbourhood.
"We’re not saying we don’t want people to have fun at Halloween, we just want to impress upon those taking part the need to behave appropriately and to be considerate of others."
Police advice to children and their parents is to be mindful of the more vulnerable or elderly members of the community who do not wish to participate in Halloween activities and who may feel intimidated by groups of people calling at their doors.
Elderly and vulnerable people are being advised not to open their door if they do not know who is calling, look through a spyhole or window before opening the door, keep a chain in place when opening the door and, if they feel threatened, they should phone the police.
To report any incidents of anti-social behaviour, call Hampshire Constabulary on 101. Dial 999 only in an emergency.
Local shops are also displaying posters, reminding shoppers that eggs or flour will not be sold to under-16s in the days leading up to Halloween night.
The police have advised children and their parents of the following:
If your child is going outside in a costume, make sure they are wearing reflective clothing or add reflective tape to their clothes.
Carry a torch and consider road safety at all times.
If your child is going out trick or treating, make sure they go out in a group, preferably accompanied by an adult.
Older children should let you know where they are going and at what time they will be back.
Children should carry a mobile phone in a pocket or bag.
Make sure your children know not to enter anyone’s house or to accept lifts from strangers.
Residents are also being encouraged to visit www.crimereports.co.uk to see what has been happening in their area during the run-up to and across Halloween.