Gloucestershire police call for no Halloween horrors
11:15am Monday 28th October 2013 in News
GLOUCESTERSHIRE Constabulary are calling on the community for a family friendly few weeks, free from Halloween horrors and firework fiascos. Sadly a rise in anti-social behaviour is seen nationally in the days and weeks around Halloween and bonfire night and Gloucestershire Police are eager to buck the trend in the county this year.
Chief Superintendent Nigel Avron said: “Combating anti social behaviour is a priority for us all year round; however, it is an issue that is especially prevalent at the end of October and beginning of November.
“Whilst the majority of people set out to enjoy Halloween and bonfire night with good intentions there are, sadly, a minority who use it as an excuse to act irresponsibly and we simply won’t tolerate it in Gloucestershire.
“Vulnerable people can be left feeling scared and worried because of uninvited trick or treating and firework misuse. We want to reassure people that additional high visibility patrols will be conducted to deter anti social behaviour and that we will take action against anyone taking part in nuisance activities.
”We would like to make this call to the Gloucestershire Community that do get involved in the festivities to make it a family friendly event and to respect those who do not wish to be involved.”
“That being said, this is a time of year that also calls on a certain degree of tolerance and we hope that people understand that we should expect children to be in high spirits at this time of year.”
For those who want to avoid trick-or-treaters a police poster can be downloaded at www.gloucestershire.police.uk and placed in your window, letting people know not to ring the bell. You can also ask your local police officer for a hard copy of the poster.
Officers have also been visiting local shops and many have put a restriction on the sale of flour and eggs to young people in order to help prevent anti social behaviour and criminal damage at this time of year.
Operations are being carried out across the county, which will see extra staffing on duty to coincide with firework displays, the mobile police station touring more rural areas and high visibility patrols in key areas to discourage anti-social behaviour and to promote a family friendly Halloween.
Over the last few weeks staff have also been visiting schools to talk about Halloween and Bonfire night and standards of behaviour that it’s hoped they will promote to their pupils as they head into the half term.
The work Gloucestershire Constabulary are doing coincides with a national campaign to raise awareness of the blight of anti-social behaviour on communities.
In Focus - Anti-social behaviour, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) second national awareness campaign, is launched today (Monday, October 28).
National Policing Lead for anti-social behaviour, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Edens, said police need to better define what constitutes ASB so that the public can feel more confident about reporting it and that, whilst anti-social behaviour is actually decreasing, public perception of ASB remains high, something DCC Edens says is because “people don’t really know what it is.”
According to figures from the British Crime Survey 2012, while there has been a 30 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour since 2007, 46,031 of people living in England and Wales who were surveyed believe it has increased in their area.
“This clearly means that a conversation needs to be had about what people actually consider to be anti-social behaviour,” said DCC Edens.
“Unfortunately, there is no precise definition of anti-social behaviour,” he said. “It’s a broad remit which covers a range of unacceptable behaviour such as street drinking, environmental damage, fly-posting and begging.
“But it’s important we don’t become intolerant to normal child-like behaviour: there’s a marked difference between a group of children gathering in the street and gangs roaming neighbourhoods bringing with them intimidation and fear.
“It’s important we are clearer on what ASB is so the public have confidence to pick up the phone and call us when they’re suffering.”
It will also be an opportunity to encourage the public to have an open, honest discussion with police about what they consider anti-social behaviour to be.
DCC Edens will be taking to Twitter this Wednesday, October 30 to talk to the public about their experiences and answer questions about policing and anti-social behaviour.
“While the campaign will highlight the work undertaken by forces to keep people feeling safe and secure in their communities; it’s an opportunity to have a frank, open and honest debate about the nature of anti-social behaviour.
“With police having to do less with more, decisions need to be made about priorities – and such discussions will be invaluable in shaping those decisions.”