Police Wish Londoners A Safe Halloween

"Respect others and have a safe and enjoyable time!"

With Halloween being celebrated this weekend, the Met Police has launched its seasonal crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Met reiterates that anti-social behaviour (ASB) can blight the lives of communities and that this does typically increase around the period of half term, Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Many people, including vulnerable members of society, can be left feeling anxious and concerned at this time of year due to uninvited trick or treating, firework misuse and large crowds. Criminals also exploit the period to commit robbery, theft, burglary and knife related crime.

In 2015, the two weeks between Halloween and Bonfire Night saw a 31 percent increase in ASB incidents in London compared to the preceding fortnight.

London has also had a number of so-called 'Killer Clown' incidents in the last few weeks, whereby people dress as clowns - sometimes armed with weapons - in order to scare and intimidate others.

Whilst the number of these incidents which are considered crimes is low, it is important that those who are out and about during Halloween understand that intentionally causing fear, alarm or distress is considered a criminal offence under the public order act.

This Halloween follow these safety tips:
- Don't knock on doors displaying a 'No trick or Treat' sign.
- Always go trick or treating with an adult.
- Plan your route - only go to places where you and your friends know the residents.
- Keep visible - stay in areas that are well lit and take a torch.
- Don't talk to strangers on the street.
- Don't go inside any house.
- Be careful crossing the road.
- Although Halloween is supposed to be spooky, be careful not to frighten vulnerable people.

Keeping your home safe:
- 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.

Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be visiting residents who can be particularly affected by this period to address any concerns and to offer crime prevention advice.
MPS Safer Transport Command (STC), in partnership with Transport for London (TfL), will also be carrying out increased high visibility patrols to prevent disorder on buses and at transport hubs across London.

STC officers will be using this opportunity to engage with young people when they are out enjoying the Halloween and Bonfire period, reassuring them and providing travel safety advice, as well as educating them on the importance of respecting their fellow passengers when travelling on London's transport network.

Met Chief Superintendent Jason Gwillim, 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."

Steve Burton, TfL's Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said, "The bus network is a safe, low-crime environment with very few passengers ever experiencing or witnessing crime. As we do throughout the year, we will be working extremely closely with police to ensure those using our services during these celebrations do so safely and with consideration for their fellow passengers."

October 28, 2016