Halloween and Bonfire night advice
26 October 2012
Haringey Police have launched Operation Hallfire against an expected seasonal increase in crime and anti-social behaviour and to keep people safe over the Halloween and fireworks season.
Operation Hallfire is the police local response to the issues that every London Borough is working to tackle under Operation Autumn Nights.
"There will be increased patrols in residential areas, as well as at key times and locations."
Officers from Haringey's Safer Schools, Safer Neighbourhoods and Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been carrying out the prevention phase of the operation working alongside partners in the local authority. This sees officers:
- Visiting roads in high crime areas to distribute information to help people take action to prevent burglary.
- Volunteer Police Cadets working with police officers and Trading Standards to carry out test purchase operations against rogue and licensed firework sellers.
- Safer Schools officers attending schools and youth clubs across the borough briefing students about responsible behaviour and staying safe over this period.
- Joint police patrols with Haringey Council Noise Enforcement Officers.
- Weapon sweeps to identify and remove weapons stashed in public places.
- Safer Neighbourhoods officers inviting their local ward Councillors to accompany them on a walkabout to discuss local issues.
- Safer Neighbourhoods officers reminding retailers of the laws around the sale of fireworks, as well as issuing them with a letter and advice about the responsible sale of items such as flour and eggs that could potentially be used to cause distress to others.
Partnership Policing Chief Inspector Jane Easton said: "Our aim is to ensure that everyone can enjoy this period safely, without causing anyone else harm or distress.
"The community will see a more visible police presence across the borough, with increased patrols in residential areas, as well as at key times and locations, such as town centres and transport hubs, to provide reassurance and to deter and target anyone intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour.
"We know spikes in crime and disorder can occur at this time of year so it is right that police work to mitigate against this, as well as informing the community of simple and practical steps they can take to keep themselves safe.
"This can be a busy time for the emergency services, so please remember to only call 999 if it is an emergency. If it’s not an emergency please dial 101, the police non-emergency phone number. Both numbers operate 24/7."
Police have issued 'No Trick or Treat posters' that people can print off if they want to deter trick or treaters calling at their home. The 'No Trick or Treat' poster is available to download from the links on the right of this page.
Those on Twitter will be able to follow @MPSHaringey on 31st October, while officers work to tackle anti-social behaviour on this busy night.
Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will be patrolling the borough late into the night, as well as the usual 24/7 presence provided by other police units. If you have information about crime or disorder, please call the non-emergency police number 101, alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.
We encourage you to know what your children are doing during this Halloween and bonfire night period and who they are with. Here are out top tips for you:
Advice to parents and carers:
- Make sure you know where your children are and who they are with.
- Go with them trick or treating if you can.
- Keep fireworks in a safe place in the house.
- Report any anti-social behaviour or concerns to your Safer Neighbourhoods Team.
- Attend organised events wherever possible.
- Ensure your children respect people displaying a ‘No Trick or Treat’ poster and please use this yourself.
- Ensure your children abide by the attached advice.
- Whilst most ‘trick or treating’ is just harmless fun, in recent years it has sometimes developed into anti-social behaviour.
We ask for your support in making this period of time a safe one for all, by taking note of the following advice and making sure your children follow 'The Halloween Code'.
Advice to young people:
- Ensure you are safe by staying with others.
- Attend organised events wherever possible.
- When trick or treating avoid knocking on the doors of elderly or vulnerable neighbours and causing unnecessary worry.
- Stay in areas that are well lit with street lights.
- Don't vandalise anything or throw things like eggs and flour. This can cause a great deal of damage and misery. What's more it can be classed as criminal damage, or even assault, and a night of 'fun' could end up with you in trouble with the police.
Fireworks - the law:
- You can’t buy or use ‘adult’ fireworks if you’re under 18, and it’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions.
- Adult fireworks are category 2 and 3 fireworks - they don’t include things like sparklers and party poppers.
- The law says you can’t set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.
- You can’t usually set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. The exceptions are a) Bonfire Night - the cut off is midnight and b) New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year - the cut off is 1am.
Top crime prevention tips:
- If you're going out, plan how you will get home safely by public transport or licensed minicab or taxi. Never hail a minicab in the street - you don't know who's car you're getting into.
- Make sure you close and lock all the doors and windows if you're the last to leave home, and leave lights on if you will be back after dark - use low energy bulbs and timer switches.
- Don't flash your cash and phone - If you must carry valuables, keep them safe and close to you at all times.
- Be alert at cash point machines and don't let anyone distract you - especially watch out for overly friendly revellers who may be looking for a chance to pick your pocket.
- Don't drink too much - you could become a target for thieves and if you are drinking, don't drive.
- While out, stay alert, try to stick with friends, keep to well lit routes and don't listen to headphones - headphones can impair your awareness of what's going on around you.