Hallowe'en warning to parents

POLICE are appealing to young people and their parents to take a responsible attitude to this year's Hallowe'en.They are also asking the general public to be more tolerant of high spirits of those celebrating the event.

POLICE are appealing to young people and their parents to take a responsible attitude to this year's Hallowe'en.

They are also asking the general public to be more tolerant of high spirits of those celebrating the event.

Suffolk police have produced a series of posters to address the issues surrounding Hallowe'en, which have been distributed to schools and businesses.

One, which can be collected from police stations, is designed for those who do not wish to take part in the celebrations to put in their window.

It reads: "The occupants of this house kindly ask you not to call on Hallowe'en."

A second poster asks retailers to be responsible with regard to selling eggs. They are asked not to sell eggs to young people on either October 30 or 31.

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Police insist the damage caused by egg throwing will be treated as criminal damage and those caught doing so will be prosecuted.

The third poster in the series asks parents to think about the safety of their children and asks if they would normally let their child enter a stranger's home unsupervised.

Chief Inspector Alan Caton, of Suffolk police, said: "We hope this year people will take a responsibly attitude to Hallowe'en and we are taking steps to ensure that disturbances are public nuisance are kept to a minimum.

"Thanks to a great deal of support from local media, last year the public responded well to our requests for them to act responsibly.

"Whereas on October 31, 2001, the control room received an additional 200 calls on Hallowe'en night, an increase of 50% compared to an average night, last year there was no rise in the number of complaints.

He added: "There will be extra patrols throughout the county, the helicopter will be deployed and each area has a specific set of initiatives for tackling any disturbances caused by unruly celebrations.

"We don't want youngsters to think we are picking on them and trying to spoil their fun. Indeed, I would also like to appeal to the public in general to be a little more tolerant of the antics of those celebrating Hallowe'en.

"It is only one day a year and we would like people to refrain from calling us about relatively minor nuisances such as youths gathering in public places."

Co-op shops in East Anglia have said they will refuse to sell flour and eggs to youngsters who staff believe are bent on causing trouble at Halloween.

The Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society, which has around 70 convenience stores and five supermarkets in East Anglia, said it had introduced the crackdown because of concerns expressed by residents living near its shops.

Mike Faulkner, secretary of the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society, said: "It's really up to the discretion of staff. But it's fair to say that some stores do attract youngsters who cause a nuisance and if one of those wanted to be buying a lot of eggs on October 30, we would probably not think they were about to do a bit of home-baking.

"It's a case of us being aware of the concerns of the local community. A lot of our convenience stores are in the heart of communities and we are aware of the nuisance that can be caused.

"We have specified October 30 and 31 as the days we will implement this policy.'

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