Met launches crackdown on anti-social behaviour and issues safety advice in run up to Halloween and Bonfire night

News Desk (22 October, 2018)

'It is an offence to throw or let off a firework in a street or public place'

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As Halloween fast approaches, the Met is launching its seasonal crackdown on anti-social behaviour, writes Christopher Carey…

Police say Halloween and Bonfire Night can see a rise in unruly behaviour, having a particular  impact on vulnerable people and the elderly.

Uninvited trick or treating, misused fireworks, and large crowds of people can  cause anxiety and concern – especially as longer nights begin to draw in.

The Met’s ‘Autumn Nights’ operation aims to help stop ‘rowdy disorderly behaviour’ so everyone can celebrate the upcoming festivities safely, and also work with trading standards teams to uncover any illegal or underage fireworks, alcohol and weapons sales.

Superintendent Tania Coulson,who is leading the Autumn Nights operation, said: “We are here to ensure young people enjoy the festivities but remain safe in doing so.

“Our operations are not aimed at ruining the fun of this time of year but are in place to ensure those who are intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour are dealt with accordingly.

”Anti-social behaviour incidents tend to increase around this time of year and when the nights draw in.”

In 2017, the weekly average number of anti-social behaviour-related calls across the Met was 4,890.

The number of these calls to police increased between Halloween and Bonfire Night, with 5,187 calls between 24 and 30 October 2017, and 6,991 calls between 31 October and 6 November 2017.

Autumn Nights will be supported by neighbourhood policing teams, youth engagement officers and volunteer police cadets.

Officers will plan operations based on past anti-social behaviour and crime hot spots.

The police have also issued the following safety advice:

This Halloween, please follow these safety tips:

– A responsible adult should go out with children
– Don’t knock on doors displaying ‘No trick or treat’ signs
– Plan your route before leaving home
– Stay close to home and if possible only visit the houses of people you know
– Never enter a stranger’s home or speak to strangers on the street
– Carry a torch and wear reflective clothing so you can be seen
– Be careful crossing the road.

Although Halloween is supposed to be spooky, please be careful not to frighten elderly or vulnerable residents.

Remember, remember on the 5th of November:

– You must be over eighteen to buy fireworks
– It is illegal to possess fireworks in a public place if you are under eighteen
– It is an offence to throw or let off a firework in a street or public place
– You can use fireworks every day of the year between the hours of 7am and 11pm, except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am)
– Don’t forget your pets, keep them safe indoors.

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