Police and councils remind people to stay safe on Halloween

Jack-O-Lanterns are seen during the 3rd Annual Mimico Pumpkin Parade at Amos Waites Park in Toronto, Canada, Nov. 1, 2014. Hundreds of Jack-O-Lanterns were lit to celebrate the Halloween season at Amos Waites Park on Saturday. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng) XINHUA /LANDOV
Picture: Zou Zheng/Landov/Press Association Images

‘Have a spooky but safe Halloween’ is the latest message as part of a Darker Nights campaign in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

The 2015 Darker Nights campaign sees police working closely with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.

It is aimed at making people feel safer as the nights draw in and evenings become darker and, with Halloween approaching, police want to remind trick or treaters to stay safe.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: “Halloween is a great time with more and more people now getting involved in Halloween activities such as trick or treating and we don’t want to spoil this fun – but we do want people to stay safe.

“We know the majority of parents are responsible and will make sure if their child does go trick or treating they have adult supervision.

“Young children – even if they are in a group – alone out in the dark without an adult can be very vulnerable so we would just like to reiterate that it is important they do have adult supervision.”

Police are also urging trick or treaters to be considerate to those who do not want to take part.

Chief Insp Pitt added: “Halloween can be a fun time for those who want to get involved, however, for others it can easily become a nuisance or make them feel intimidated.

“Officers will be on patrol throughout the night to offer reassurance to those who may be feeling more vulnerable. However, I’d also like to ask trick or treaters to play their part and be mindful that not everyone wants them to knock on their door. We’d advise people to plan ahead and visit people who are expecting them. If someone does not want to take part then please respect this.”

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “On Halloween night, there are more children out after dark than normal and as many of the younger ones are so excited they may run out on to the road without thinking. We would urge drivers to take extra care and to slow down in residential areas.

“We would also remind parents and carers not to let their children go out alone and ensure they have something reflective on their costumes so that others can see them. It is also important that people buying costumes for their youngsters feel confident that these items are safe to wear and comply with required safety regulations.

“Halloween can be a great deal of fun but trick or treating can also be quite distressing for some of our more vulnerable members of our community. We would ask people to respect the wishes of those households that are not keen to get involved in the celebrations and call on people to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours. That way we can all have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”

More information about the Darker Nights campaign can be found on the Northumbria Police website www.northumbria.police.uk

Follow Northumbria Police on twitter @northumbriapol @npsunderland @npsouthtyneside and visit Southern Area Command on facebook. #DarkerNights

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