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Keep yourself and others safe this Halloween

19 Oct 2020
  • Enjoy Halloween safely and stay socially distanced

  • Find alternatives to trick-or-treating

  • Be considerate to neighbours and other residents

Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations are likely to be a bit different this year, due to the pandemic restrictions on large gatherings and visiting other people’s homes.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is reminding people that if they are getting involved in activities over this period that they be considerate to their neighbours and respectful of others’ property.

For the vast majority, Halloween and Bonfire Night is great fun and a time to celebrate with friends and family, but for some elderly and vulnerable people, or those living alone, some people’s behaviour can be intimidating.

At this time of year there is often an increase in the number of calls police receive relating to anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, which can distress and worry many residents. As in previous years, police will again have an increased number of officers on duty and will be carrying out extra high visibility and covert patrols to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

Officers from Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the county will be working with local councils, the Fire and Rescue Service and businesses to make sure anti-social behaviour remains low.

This year the traditions of trick-or-treating carries a risk and the county’s message is clear: this Halloween, stick to a safer way of having fun.

Top 5 low risk activities:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them in your window, or outside. This year, why not carve a rainbow in your pumpkin? Watch Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘how to’ video for tips
  • Taking part in a local ‘spot the pumpkin’ trail throughout half term week, where people display pumpkin or Halloween pictures in their windows and you have to try and find them all with your family
  • Organising a Halloween scavenger hunt, where children from your household are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for either in your home, or outdoors
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume competition using zoom or Skype
  • Having a Halloween film night with your household

Three higher risk activities to avoid this Halloween:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating, where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Attending crowded fancy dress parties or any party where there are more than six people
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you have been told to self-isolate, you should not participate in any in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out sweets to trick-or-treaters.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Frost, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Team, who is coordinating the Constabulary’s activity around Halloween and Bonfire Night, said: “Halloween and Firework Night can be great fun, but some residents, particularly those living alone, can feel frightened or intimidated by some of the activities.

“This year, although we don’t want to stop anyone from enjoying themselves, we are urging people to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night in a safe way and adhere to social distancing guidelines. There will be more officers on patrol during this period, so we will be able to respond quickly to any incidents, as well as providing a highly visible and reassuring presence. We will also be engaging, explaining and encouraging people to act responsibly, reminding them to follow COVID-19 laws, including wearing face coverings, where required and following the rule of six. We will take enforcement action if necessary.”

More advice is available at www.herts.police.uk/halloween, where there is also a children’s quiz where entrants can win family tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

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