Police have issued a plea to members of the public to celebrate Halloween safely this year to reduce the number of emergency calls.
The force aims to reduce the number of calls to emergency services and warns people to respect their neighbours during Halloween celebrations.
Residents in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being reminded to ‘Celebrate Safely’ this Halloween and only call 999 in an emergency.
Typically Leicestershire Police see a surge of calls around Halloween which can see over 600 emergency calls and 1,500 non-emergency calls in a 24 hour period.
The force aims to reduce the number of complaints about Halloween related anti-social behaviour this year, while also encouraging people to respect their neighbours if they choose to trick or treat.
Superintendent Steve Durrant, who leads the Contact Management Department, said: “We know that for many, Halloween is a fun celebration, but we don’t want the actions of some to cause unnecessary alarm to others.
“We would ask anyone trick or treating to respect people’s wishes and only go where they are welcome. While some actions may appear harmless, they can cause distress. We ask that they don’t play tricks on people that cause them to report it to the police.
“The force has a poster available to download for those who wish to say a polite ‘No thanks’ message to any trick or treaters on their door or window and we would ask that this is respected by everyone.
“We would also ask that people only call 999 in an emergency as inappropriate use can impact on our ability to help those at greatest risk of harm. Non-emergency incidents can be reported by calling 101.”
Leicestershire Police Control Room deals with non-emergency reports of crime and antisocial behaviour in the same way whether you report it online or call 101.
Councillor Deborah Taylor, Leicestershire County Council's cabinet member for community safety, added: “Halloween is a fun time of year and we want people to enjoy the celebrations. This year we’re not only asking people to respect the decision of those who don’t want to take part, but to also be mindful about what you can do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus while taking part and enjoying the festivities.”
Nick Stanborough, station manager at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Whether you’re celebrating at home or out and about this year, we urge everyone to follow our Celebrate Safety tips.
“Keep a watchful eye on candles - keeping them out of reach from pets and children and away from decorations. Consider using battery powered candles instead, as they’re much safer. Be careful with Halloween costumes as some can be highly flammable – make sure you keep away from open flames such as candles and lit pumpkins."
For more information about the campaign, useful safety tips and advice, please visit www.celebratesafely.com.