BANG – Be a Nice Guy this Halloween and Bonfire

Posted 18/10/2012 14:10:36

With celebrations for Halloween and Bonfire Night fast approaching, North Wales Police are once again joining forces with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service to ask people to 'Be a Nice Guy' with Operation BANG.

North Wales Police has a responsibility to keep its communities safe and by working with other key partners, we are able to promote key messages through the 'Be a Nice Guy' initiative. It has been identified that this approach, along with targeted diversionary activities which engage young people in fun and entertaining events, can be very effective in ensuring that everyone can enjoy themselves safely.

Throughout North Wales a variety of Halloween and Bonfire activities, which are being organised by Local Policing Teams, will be taking place to engage with young people. These activities have received financial support from the Arson Reduction Team, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and North Wales Police in partnership with the Police and Community Trust (PACT).

Over the next three weeks, posters - one welcoming Trick or Treaters and the other asking callers to move on - will be distributed to vulnerable residents by Local Policing Teams across the force area.

Shopkeepers are also being encouraged not to sell flour and eggs to children in the days running up to the 31st October, and the teams will also be distributing posters to retailers throughout the area.

School Community Police Officers throughout North Wales will also be talking to young people about how their behaviour can affect others after all, not everyone wants to join in the Halloween celebrations. They will also be reminding them to keep them selves safe if they go out trick or treating and will be distributing specially made bookmarks and postcards which contain advice.

"Local policing teams across North Wales are working closely with their communities to ensure that those who want to have fun on Halloween can do so without causing upset to others," said North Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Shannon.

"Although lots of people enjoy this time of year, unexpected knocks at the door throughout the evening can cause some people distress."

"By placing a sign in the window people will know that particular resident's preference. Hopefully this will be respected and those who would rather keep their doors closed on Halloween night will not be disturbed."

He added: "We wish for everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween, but would like to remind people to have fun responsibly rather than disturbing others."

Police and partner organisations are taking a proactive approach and in conjunction with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, leaflets containing advice and information regarding fireworks are also being distributed.

Mr Shannon added: "We know the majority of people enjoy this time of year sensibly and we are not out to spoil their fun but unfortunately there is a minority who are intent on causing problems and use Bonfire Night as an excuse to commit crime and act anti-socially.

"We will be working in partnership with other agencies to keep people safe and make sure an exciting and enjoyable period is not tarnished by the minority. To ensure the safety of all, we would also encourage residents to attend organised firework displays, which will be well publicised in the local press prior to November 5th."

Gareth Griffiths, Senior Fire Safety Manager for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "Every year, countless people are badly injured and burnt in the run up to the bonfire season when lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks. Organised community events in North Wales definitely provide the best value for money for entertainment and also ensure that families no longer need to risk the dangers of back garden bonfire and fireworks parties.

"It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of eighteen years old. Many types of fireworks are banned from sale to the public. Throwing fireworks in a public place is also illegal - a fine of up to £5000 awaits anyone convicted."

Anyone wanting a Trick or Treating Yes/No poster can contact a member of their local team by calling 101 or by downloading a poster from the website www.north-wales.police.uk

Top tips for Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Young children should always go trick or treating with an appropriate adult
  • Plan your route and let people know where you are
  • Do not take short cuts
  • Make sure you stay in areas that are well lit with street lamps, and take atorch with you
  • Never go into a stranger's house
  • Do not knock on doors where a 'No Trick or Treat' sign is visible
  • Don't talk to strangers on the street
  • Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly
  • Be safe, be seen. Ensure you are always visible; it may be a good idea towear reflective tape on your costume
  • Look carefully before crossing the road
  • Remember that throwing eggs and flour at property is classed as criminaldamage - and the police will deal with all incidents of anti-social behaviour accordingly

And finally…..be polite on Halloween night

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