Respect, protect and enjoy – that is the message from North Wales Police and their partners as they urge people to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night safely this year.
The force has launched Operation BANG; an annual safety campaign, and are asking people to think differently about the way they mark Halloween this year.
With restrictions in place due to Covid-19, and some areas of north Wales under local restrictions, officers are encouraging people to respect their neighbours, protect the emergency services by reducing demand and enjoy celebrations at home.
Superintendent Helen Corcoran, Head of Community Safety, North Wales Police said: “Operation BANG is an annual campaign which is aimed at keeping people safe over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.
“This year whilst our policing focus remains firmly on tackling antisocial behaviour and keeping people safe, our message is a little bit different given the unusual circumstances we are in due to the coronavirus. We ask everyone to think how they can Keep Wales Safe this Halloween and not spread Covid-19.
“We are asking people to consider celebrating at home instead of going out and about, respecting that there are people who find Halloween distressing at the best of times, and who might find that the uncertainty of the current situation has heightened feelings of anxiety.
“Please remember not to meet anyone indoors that you don’t live with or is not part of your extended household. This applies to both your home and in places like pubs and restaurants.”
“We also ask that you do your best to keep yourself and your family safe to prevent adding pressure to the emergency services during already busy times.”
“Carving pumpkins, making crafts, and creating a spooky trail around your house or garden are all ways to celebrate Halloween at home with younger children. Communities can also create a pumpkin trail, whereby for every pumpkin spotted, parents can put a treat or sweet in their child’s Trick or Treat bag and get sweets without having to knock on people’s doors and rummage around a pot of treats.
Supt Corcoran added: “While older children and teenagers might still want to meet up with friends, parents are urged to keep track of their plans, remind them to consider the consequences of their actions, and be mindful of lockdown restrictions.
“Fortunately, the majority of communities we police don’t experience a great increase in crime at this time of year, but there can always be one or two people who spoil it for everyone else. We don’t want anyone’s enjoyment to get out of hand and cause distress or harm to others.
“Our website will have lots of downloadable fun activities for the youngsters to do at home – such as colouring sheets and a wordsearch. People can send us photos of their creations via social media by using #NWPHalloween and there may be opportunities to win a prize.”
“By working together we can have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”
For Halloween craft ideas and ways to celebrate at home, please click on the below PDF documents.
Further advice on Bonfire safety is available via the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service website https://www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk/keeping-you-safe/in-your-community/firework-bonfire-safety/
Information and advice around the restrictions are available via the Welsh Government website https://gov.wales/coronavirus