Halloween and Bonfire Night are traditionally busy times for our officers, so we are asking everyone to stay safe this Bonfire Night, keeping it a fun and exciting time. But we will not tolerate antisocial behaviour and will act if anyone causes problems for others.
Fireworks are at the heart of the celebrations, but they can be extremely dangerous causing personal injuries and damage to property if not handled correctly. To minimise the risks and maximise the enjoyment, we would encourage everyone to attend an organised event.
Superintendent Nick Morris, Essex Police, said:
“I want everyone to play a part in staying safe this year. “We want to make sure that a minority of people don’t put others at risk, and that those who do not want to join in the celebrations, especially the elderly and vulnerable who may find it unsettling, are left alone. “In the run up to Halloween and Bonfire Night we will be working with shopkeepers, asking them to be alert to young people purchasing items that have historically been used to cause damage and anti-social behaviour. “We are asking parents to make sure their children do not go trick or treating alone and to remind them only to knock on doors of people they know. “Playing practical jokes on neighbours you don’t know or throwing things at their houses because they’re not taking part in trick or treat is unacceptable and may actually be criminal in nature. “If people stopped and thought about how their loved ones, their grandparent or elderly neighbour would feel if they found their home under attack from pranksters, then maybe they would refrain from their anti-social actions. “No one wants to think that their nan is frightened in their own home one night each year.”
Talking about the dangers of fireworks, Mr Morris added:
“We would encourage everyone to go to an organised Bonfire Night event. “If people want to hold their own firework display and bonfire, it is important to take the proper precautions and follow the firework code. Please make sure everyone in attendance views from a safe distance. “Remember your neighbours and any pets in the vicinity; not everyone likes the bright lights and some may be frightened by the loud bangs. “Increased reports of anti-social behaviour during this time of year goes up, placing more demands on my officers. Although there will be additional patrols to provide reassurance and safety to the local community, my officers cannot be everywhere, so please let’s all play a part in keeping Essex safe this year.”
Take our advice to ensure everyone stays safe this year:
• Plan your fireworks and bonfire, ensuring you follow the firework code • Never throw fireworks and never direct them at a person • Never return to a firework once it has been lit • When trick or treating, only call at the address of someone you know • Stay safe, respect others and have fun
If residents have concerns around antisocial behaviour or believe a criminal offence is being committed during Halloween or Bonfire Night, they should call 101.
You can also make a report to us online through our digital 101 service.