As parents and caregivers prepare to take their little ones trick or treating tonight, police are urging a safe and respectful approach to Halloween.
This year's spooky celebration also falls on a full moon, during a leap year and amid a global pandemic.
Prevention Manager Superintendent Eric Tibbott, of the Police National Headquarters, says Halloween activities can be fun for children to dress up, go trick-or-treating for sweets with friends and family, however it’s important to stay safe.
“Although it’s a fun night out it’s good to remember that not everyone likes to take part in Halloween or can take part," he says.
“Halloween is mostly a fun time for children and young people, but not everyone, young or old, is able to participate or appreciates repeated knocks on the door.
“All we ask is that trick or treaters are respectful of others.”
Tibbott suggests those who are opting out of Halloween to put a sign on their door or gate in the hopes it might "negate young visitors looking for lollies".
“It’s important to remember that young children should be supervised at all times, staying in areas where they know their neighbours, staying with friends or an adult, and respecting people’s privacy," he says.
Police recommend the following:
- Parents or caregivers should accompany children and not let them go off with people they do not know
- Trick or treating in areas that are well lit and only going where children know the residents
- Always go with an adult or if you’re a teen - stay together with your friend
- If you see a sign on the door that says ‘no trick-or-treat here’ or similar then respect their wishes
- Householders don’t have to open the door or respond to knocks from Halloween visitors
"As an alternative, children and parents could attend a local community event instead, if there’s one in the neighbourhood," Tibbot says.
"If there are problems or incidents outside homes, especially late in the evening, don’t hesitate to phone police for advice on 105 or for urgent help if someone is in danger, on 111."