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Oct 26 2011

Safety advice for Halloween and Bonfire Night

Safety advice for Halloween and Bonfire Night – issued by Metropolitan Police

We want people to be safe while out enjoying themselves.

There will be increased police activity over this busy time to deter and target individuals and groups intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour.

All Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will be patrolling at key times in town centres and transport hubs.

Our operations are not aimed at demonising young people, the large majority of whom behave safely and responsibly. However those intent on committing crime and anti social behaviour will face the consequences.

Information for local businesses.

With Halloween and Bonfire Night around the corner, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has begun its seasonal crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour. With both these events approaching, the focus of the MPS will be on ensuring the safety of our communities throughout this period.

Commander Christine Jones, said: “We are here for London and to help make sure that everyone can enjoy the festivities and stay safe. All 32 London boroughs have a local plan in place, drawing together experience and successful tactics from previous years as well as managing planned events in their areas, focusing our resources in the right places and working closely and continually with our partners and communities.

I would like to stress that our operations are not aimed at demonising young people, the large majority of whom behave safely and responsibly. However those intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour will face the consequences.”

In the period leading up to half term, schools officers have been reiterating safety tips to young people ahead of the festivities. Officers are carrying out after-school patrols at key locations, such as town centres and transport hubs, to disrupt potential involvement in robbery, violence and other criminal activities which impact on our neighbourhoods. They will also be using screening arches, as well as ‘wands’, as part of wider detection tactics to deter the carriage of weapons and will take part in test sale operations with Trading Standards regarding the sale of fireworks, alcohol and over-the-counter weapons.

Boroughs will receive central support for their operations, including mobile police units, that will be deployed in response to particular threats. This additional support is controlled and directed from the MPS Central Command Complex [one of the three MPS 999 centres].

All Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will be patrolling at key times in town centres and other key locations.

In addition the MPS Safer Transport Command, funded by Transport for London (TfL), is running concurrently Operation Safebus, an intensive two-week operation to prevent youth disorder on the transport network during the autumn half term and encompassing Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Commander Jones added: “During this busy period, ensure you stay safe by staying with others and try to attend well organised events. When you are out, keep your valuables and high-value mobile phones out of sight, or leave them at home.

If trick or treating, be aware of the impact of your actions on others – it may cause unnecessary worry to some of the more vulnerable members of our communities. Wherever possible parents should try to accompany their children.

If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team or in an emergency always dial 999.

“Do not forget the security of your home. If you are going out for the evening, ensure you have closed and locked your doors and windows and make sure that you leave lights on. The clocks go back on 30 October, so it may be dark before you expect it.”

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Policing, added: “We want people to enjoy themselves and also to ensure everyone feels safe going about their business and in their communities.

“London remains one of the safest cities to go out at night, but of course you should also employ common sense and be aware of what’s happening around you.

“For the minority of people that might cause trouble, this will not be tolerated and the police will be ready to respond, quickly and decisively.”

Key safety advice:

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.

Advice to young people:

  • We want you to enjoy yourselves but won’t tolerate unacceptable behaviour or anti-social behaviour;
  • 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.

Keeping your home secure:

  • Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes;
  • Make sure UPVC doors are properly locked with a key;
  • Make sure the side and/or back gate is locked;
  • Lock your shed or garage;
  • Make sure that any valuables are out of sight;
  • Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home;
  • Don’t leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, windows or your letterbox.
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