Eggs and flour ban to halt young Halloween vandals
Police hope to crack antisocial behaviour this Halloween by banning the sale of eggs and flour to young people.
Officers have been visiting shopkeepers asking them to stop selling to children and teenagers around the trick-or-treat season.
In previous years Halloween and bonfire night have seen an increase in calls to emergency services with reports of antisocial behaviour, fires and vandalism – including eggs and flour being thrown at properties and cars.
Inspector Shirley Eden, of Radstock police, said she hopes the voluntary scheme will curb some of the problems by restricting access to items vandals have historically used.
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In the past few days officers have visited shops and handed out posters which tell customers they will not be selling eggs or flour to anyone who appears to be under 18 in the days leading up to October 31.
She said: “We want young people to have fun but we certainly don’t want people to feel that antisocial behaviour in the guise of trick or treating is being used against them.
“It is essential that people feel safe in their homes and we will be working hard to ensure that people enjoy both Halloween and bonfire night responsibly.”
Insp Eden added that the safety and welfare of young people and children was important and encouraged parents to make sure they accompany children who go out trick or treating and supervise the use of fireworks.
She said Avon and Somerset police have also sent letters to schools asking teachers to remind pupils about their personal safety when out trick or treating and the effect their behaviour could have on older or vulnerable people.
People who wish to be left alone on Halloween are being advised to display posters in their windows which are available from Radstock Police Station or from the Somerset Guardian office in High Street, Midsomer Norton.
Police will be carrying out extra patrols in the evenings to make sure that people who are trick or treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance.
Extra staff are also being drafted in at the force communications centres at Taunton and the Portishead police headquarters to deal with an anticipated increase in the number of 999 and non-emergency calls.
Police are urging people not to abuse the 999 system and only report genuine emergencies. They are reminded that reports of eggs and flour being thrown at property or nuisance behaviour from young people should be referred through the non-emergency line 101.