Police aim to curb Halloween mayhem

SUE SKINNER Police community support officers have been visiting schools and shops in Wisbech in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour on Halloween.Children are expected to embark on their annual trick-or-treat calls around their neighbourhoods on Tuesday.

SUE SKINNER

Police community support officers have been visiting schools and shops in Wisbech in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour on Halloween.

Children are expected to embark on their annual trick-or-treat calls around their neighbourhoods on Tuesday.

Sgt Dave Bax said: "Halloween is always a fun time of year for children but traditionally it also sees an increase in anti-social behaviour.

"Children may think that it is just part of the Halloween festivities to play a trick on people by throwing eggs at their window but for those it happens to, it is frustrating and can be intimidating," he said.

Shopkeepers are being asked to be cautious when selling eggs and flour to young people in the build- up to the spooky celebrations and, to avoid confusion over whether a household is taking part, police are issuing "no trick-or-treaters" posters.

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These can be downloaded by clicking on the link on the Cambridgeshire force website, www.cambs.police.uk, and displ-ayed in windows or doorways.

PC Andy Key, from the community safety unit, said: "If children see one of these posters I would urge them not to knock on the door and, if people say they are not interested, to respect that.

"I would urge parents to ensure they know where their children will be going on Halloween night and remind their children to act responsibly.

"We would also advise children who are taking part in the event to carry a mobile phone with them, not go out too late, take a torch and walk in groups. Ideally children should be accompanied by an adult."

Police will be stepping up their patrols across Fenland on the night to keep disruption to a minimum.

Officers are also cracking down on drivers who speed in Wisbech and the surrounding villages with a series of targeted checks around the area. Motorists caught driving over the limit will be issued with fixed penalty notices, carrying a £60 fine and three penalty points.

The campaign is being run by the Wisbech and district and Waterlees and Clarkson neigh-bourhood policing teams, which have now united their efforts to create a stronger crime-fighting force, after local people highlighted identical concerns at their first neighbourhood panel meetings.

Speeding, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage emerged as the top priorities for action at both meetings.