News

Police issue warning ahead of Halloween and Bonfire Night festivities

Merseyside / October 28

We’re encouraging young people, families and businesses to play their part in keeping communities safe over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period with anyone who commits incidents of anti-social behaviour to expect serious consequences.

Extra officers will be out on the streets across Merseyside to ensure that people can enjoy the festivities in their area safely.

But, officers are also asking parents to help keep communities safe by taking responsibility for their children’s whereabouts and to be mindful of any neighbours who may be elderly or vulnerable and who might feel frightened or intimidated.

Shopkeepers are also being urged not to sell any items that can be misused to cause damage, such as eggs, flour and cans of shaving foam.

Together with Merseyside Fire and Rescue (MFRS), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), local councils and other partner agencies, Merseyside Police will be doing everything possible to keep residents and visitors safe, whilst also ensuring emergency service staff working over this festive season are able to carry out their jobs safely and effectively.

T/Superintendent Paddy Kelly, who is once again heading this year’s operation for Merseyside Police said: “This is always a fun time of year and we want to make sure that everyone can enjoy the organised events and activities safely.

"Our message during this period is simple – anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of crime will face serious consequences.

“No one should ever feel afraid or vulnerable and I want to again reassure the public that there will be high-visibility patrols and I encourage you to come and speak to us should you ever feel scared or at risk of someone else’s harmful behaviour.

"I’d ask anyone considering taking part in criminal activity to really think; how would you feel if your family member or friend was too frightened to leave their own home or walk down the street? Under no circumstances is it ok to throw things at people, their homes or cars, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate people.

“The support of parents, guardians, teachers and care professionals is vital at this time of year. Together, we can minimise the risk of children getting caught up in criminal behaviour. Not only is causing damage by throwing objects a criminal offence, it is also illegal for those under the age of 18 to buy, carry, or use fireworks. Under the Explosives Act of 1875 it is also illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place; so please consider the legal repercussions before engaging in this activity.

“By working together to actively prevent this, it could ensure that you don’t receive a knock at the door from a police officer informing you that your child has been arrested or, worse still, has been involved in a serious accident.”

Lauren Woodward, Station Manager for Arson/Incident Investigation with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service said: “Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service would like everyone to enjoy the Bonfire night period as safely as possible. Each year, we work closely with partner organisations to ensure community safety throughout the bonfire period.

"Parents should remind young people that obstructing the emergency services in the course of their duties is an offence and could result in serious consequences for themselves and others. Have a word with your child about right and wrong before they go out.”

To report a crime, always contact 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can call 101, contact @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK.

Firework Facts

  • It is illegal for under 18s to buy fireworks, shops should refuse to sell to people under 18 and ask for proof of age if there is any doubt;
  • It is against the law to carry or use adult fireworks if you are under 18. An adult firework is any firework except a cap, cracker snap, novelty match, party popper, serpent, sparkler or throw down;
  • Under the Explosives Act of 1875, It is illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place;
  • It is illegal to sell fireworks form unregistered/licensed premises;
  • Don't light fireworks after 11pm, or midnight on 5 November;
  • If anyone believes they have information about the illegal sale, use or possession of fireworks, please contact Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958 , Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Safety advice for young people

Do’s:

  • Only trick or treat in your own neighbourhood and stick with an adult, if possible;
  • Stay in well-lit areas where there are plenty of houses;
  • Make sure an adult knows the area you plan to visit and what time you'll be back;
  • Look out for 'no callers please' posters and respect your neighbours;
  • Keep to pavements and trick or treat on one side of the street before crossing safely to the other side - don't criss-cross;
  • Lock away any building materials if you’re having work done;
  • If you have a wheelie bin avoid leaving it visible at the front of your home;
  • Tidy away anything at the front of your home that could be used for an illegal bonfire.

Don’ts:

  • Don't cut through back alleys, parks or fields, and don't trick or treat too far from home;
  • Don't go alone - take an adult with you or stay in a group;
  • Wait to eat any treats until you get home so that an adult can check them;
  • Don’t allow children to leave the house with eggs or flour.