The police and councils around Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland are asking this question hoping to reduce the number of calls they receive on Halloween by encouraging people to trick and treat only where they are welcome.
The joint campaign is being launched to reduce the number of complaints about Halloween related anti-social behaviour. Double sided posters are being distributed with two messages:
Residents who want trick treaters can display the message: ‘Trick or Treaters Welcome Here’
Those who don’t, can display the other side that says: ’No Thanks Trick or Treaters’
Last year the police received 134 non-urgent calls about anti-social behaviour on 31 October. On average the force receives 68 calls a day about anti-social behaviour. This is however a big reduction when compared to 2008 when they dealt with 247 calls in one night.
Chief Inspector Sian Walls, at Leicestershire Police, said;
“We always see an increase in calls relating to anti-social behaviour on Halloween and we want to encourage trick or treaters to respect people’s wishes and not to knock on doors where they are not welcome.
“It is also important to remember that there will be many young people knocking on doors in the spirit of Halloween and, if done in the right manner, that isn’t anti-social behaviour it can be fun.
“We want to encourage residents to be tolerant of young people who are trick or treating but we wish to support residents who do experience genuine problems. We’d encourage parents to accompany young children and take time to talk to their older children about responsible trick or treating and to find out what their plans are for Halloween and where they are going to be.”
Extra officers will be on patrol at night on Halloween, including special constables and Leicestershire Youth Offending Service’s IMPACT team. Many people will also be conducting joint patrols with volunteers, colleagues from community safety partnerships and street pastors.”
Cllr Maggie Wright, portfolio holder for Community Services at Blaby District Council, said:
“These posters are great because they display a clear message to young people. We’ve done a lot of work to tell young people what to look for.
“We need to ensure that vulnerable people in our communities feel safe and are reassured that agencies are working to ensure that people will not be knocking at their doors if they do not want them to.”
You can pick up your poster from police stations or you can download them from the police website or local council websites. They are also being put in libraries, council offices and community centres for collection.
For more information on the campaign, and to see the posters, visit: http://www.leics.gov.uk/Halloween
Anyone who wants to report anti-social behaviour in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland can call Leicestershire Police on 101* or Crimestoppers, which is free** and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.
* Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile phones and land lines
** Please note some mobile phone service providers may charge for this call.