Halloween in Sussex: please respect elderly or vulnerable residents, say police

Sussex Police are urging residents to be ‘respectful and responsible’ this Halloween and not to cause distress to people who dislike the event.

Police said that while children and families can enjoy trick or treating on October 31, the activity can cause concern for some elderly residents or people who live on their own.

They have created a poster for residents to put up in their windows in case they do not want visitors on Sunday evening.

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Mid Sussex Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Darren Taylor has also urged shopkeepers to watch out for odd food purchases to prevent vandalism and pranks.

Sussex Police are urging residents to be respectful this Halloween and not to cause distress to people who dislike it. Picture: Sussex Police.

“We acknowledge that while Halloween is a fun and popular time for many young people in Sussex, it can be a night of contrasting emotions for some of our more elderly or vulnerable residents,” said Chief Inspector Jonathan Carter.

“We ask people heading out for Halloween to be responsible and to have respect for others – do not knock on houses which are displaying the ‘No Trick or Treaters’ poster or which may be home to vulnerable residents,” he said.

Chief Inspector Carter said officers will be patrolling communities on Halloween to deter any anti-social or irresponsible behaviour.

“If you experience or witness any criminal or suspicious behaviour, please do get in touch with us online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency,” he said.

Sussex Police have offered some tips for a safer Halloween.

They said young children should be accompanied by an adult while trick or treating and that people should stay in well-lit areas.

Police said trick or treaters should only consider calling only at houses where they know the occupants and that they should respect the privacy and wishes of people who do not want to take part.

Residents are advised to be vigilant if opening the door to unexpected callers or people they do not know.

Anyone who feels unsafe is advised not to open their door if they are unsure who is there.

People can use a spyhole first, look out of a window, or use a door chain if they do decide to open the door.

Police recommend having the contact number of a close relative or good neighbour by the phone.

If people are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme they are advised to let their coordinator know if they are alone on Halloween.

Coordinators are asked to identity people in the scheme who may be vulnerable and reassure them.

Sussex Police also urge drivers to be careful on October 31 in case children cross the road unexpectedly.

Any anti-social behaviour can be reported online at www.sussex.police.uk.

If you feel threatened, are in an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.