WEST Midlands Police is listening to the concerns of the public and advising people on how to feel safer during Halloween.

Halloween can be an intimidating time, especially for anyone who is elderly or vulnerable. Many youngsters consider 31 October to be an opportunity to play harmless jokes, not realising the distress that their actions can cause.

The force is reminding young people to show consideration and respect to others, particularly the vulnerable and elderly, and is working with schools across the region to offer tips on how to trick or treat responsibly.

Superintendent Sue Southern said: “We want young people to have an enjoyable and safe Halloween, and to remember that some people may feel intimidated by trick or treaters at their door – no matter how harmless young people think their actions might be.

“Halloween can be a frightening time of year for some elderly citizens and we are committed to making this group feel safer. We have a number of activities taking place across the West Midlands during this seasonal period to ensure all our communities feel safe.”

Police would like to reassure elderly and vulnerable people by providing the following advice:

During Halloween, if you are worried about problems caused by ‘trick or treaters’ try to arrange to visit a friend or relative or invite someone to sit with you so you are not alone.

If you are very worried, or have experienced problems before and will be home alone during Halloween, you can call West Midlands Police on their non-emergency number (0345 113 5000) before the night. You are welcome to ask if your local neighbourhood officers can pay particular attention to your street while on patrol.

If you are home alone and do not have anyone who can sit with you, consider the following advice:

1. Always put the chain on the door before opening it
2. Ask all callers at the door for identification
3. If you’re unsure about the caller, call a neighbour and ask them to come round to help you
4. Do not let the caller into your house while you’re checking their identity – if they’re genuine they will wait
5. If you’re still unsure or feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t answer the door
6. If a caller is threatening in any way call the police immediately

Police have already provided many elderly and vulnerable residents with ‘no trick or treat cards’ which respectfully request that trick or treaters do not knock at the door during Halloween.

The ‘no trick or treat’ cards can be downloaded and printed from www.west-midlands.police.uk or from its facebook page by searching for ‘West Midlands Police’. These luminous cards can be displayed on front windows and doors to advise trick or treaters they are not welcome to knock the door.

 http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/np/Birminghamwestandcentral/news/newsitem.asp?id=5251