Campaign launched to enjoy Halloween safely

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ENJOY Halloween but don’t break the law - that’s the message of a new campaign.

Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and the PSNI, supported by Craigavon Borough Council, are working in partnership once again to ensure a happy and safe Halloween for everyone.

Halloween is traditionally a time for tricks and pranks however some of these can go awry and can often end up as incidents of crime.

In the past there have been instances where homes and premises have been targeted by flour or eggs. Those who get caught up in this type of activity could actually face prosecution for criminal damage or anti-social behaviour and, what is meant to be a prank can have serious consequences.

The PSNI and PCSP are working in partnership with local retailers through the ‘Flour and Eggs’ campaign. This initiative is aimed at preventing the sale of flour and eggs to under 18s during the Halloween season thus reducing the opportunity to cause damage to vehicles and homes with these products.

These posters will be displayed in participating outlets throughout the Borough.

Area Commander, Chief Inspector Anthony McNally, explained: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy Halloween without injury or harm so would ask everyone in the local community to work with us to ensure safe celebrations for all.”

Halloween festivities also provide an opportunity for children to dress up and join in planned festivities. However for some people it can mean something completely different. In previous years across Northern Ireland there have been instances of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage and vulnerable members of our society have felt intimidated and threatened.

Therefore the ‘No Trick, No Treat, No Thanks’ campaign is being implemented again by the PCSP and PSNI. The aim of the campaign is to provide A5 notices for residents who would prefer not to have trick or treaters calling at their home. The notice says, ‘Sorry, no trick, no treat, no thanks. Have fun’ and can be displayed in house windows or doors.

Councillor Alan Carson, Chairman of the PCSP, said: “We do not want to ruin anyone’s fun at Halloween however we want young people to stop and think about how their behaviour may be perceived by some of the more vulnerable members in our society.

“I would ask parents to talk to their children and discuss their Hallowe’en plans and the best way to enjoy themselves safely and within the law. I would also ask everyone to respect the no trick, no treat, no thanks notices where they are displayed, and together we can all look forward to a safe Hallowe’en,”

Everyone is being urged to pay close attention to their own personal safety, if they intend to be in the vicinity of fireworks, sparklers or bonfires. Fireworks contain explosive, flammable substances, which can cause serious injury to an individual or damage to property. Children using sparklers should also be closely supervised.

Chief Inspector McNally said: “High visibility patrols will operate across each area. We will also work with the community to target any areas where antisocial behaviour is highlighted. We hope that with the support of parents, schools and local community groups we can work to help make Halloween safe and enjoyable.”

Police recommend that fireworks should be purchased from reputable licensed dealers, not from market stalls or individuals selling door-to-door. Anyone who has information about illegal fireworks sales should contact local police on 0845 600 800.

The annual Craigavon Borough Council fireworks display takes place on Thursday, October 25, at 8pm at Craigavon Lakes. A programme of activities will take place in the Rushmere Centre prior to the display.