'No excuse' - Police issue stark warning to anyone causing disorder during Halloween and Bonfire Night

Residents are being urged to stay safe and celebrate Halloween in the ‘right spirt’ as police and partners gear up for one of their busiest nights of the year.

By Leanne Clarke
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 11:02 am

West Yorkshire Police is urging revellers out enjoying the Hallowe’en and Bonfire period to celebrate safely and be mindful of others who may be vulnerable and wish to avoid trick or treaters.

Those who use the period as an excuse for disorder are also being warned the force will use all the resources at its disposal to identify, arrest and prosecute offenders.

Chief Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, commander of West Yorkshire Police’s operation for Halloween and Bonfire Night, said: “Whilst concerns around Covid remain present and a number of organised events will not be going ahead, we do anticipate this Autumn will see a return to traditional levels of activities such as trick or treating and Bonfire Night gatherings.

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Residents are being urged to stay safe and celebrate Halloween in the ‘right spirt’ as police and partners gear up for one of their busiest nights of the year.

“I want everyone to enjoy both evenings in the right way and simply ask everyone to be considerate of particularly elderly or vulnerable members of the community who may be more affected by the noise and activities this time of year brings."

Chief Superintendent Greenwood added that while both evenings were among the busiest for police services, police would be patrolling to offer reassurance to residents.

“If anyone is concerned for their safety or has witnessed anti-social or criminal behaviour then I urge them to contact the police using 999 if it is an emergency or 101 or online methods if not. “

The chief superintendent said he also had a stark warning for those who were intent on using the period as a pretext for disorder.

“Halloween and Bonfire Night are absolutely no excuse for anti-social behaviour or for anyone seeking to endanger or frighten anyone else deliberately” he said.

“We will respond promptly to any reports of ongoing incidents and technology such as CCTV, bodycam and mobile phone footage gives us an unparalleled ability to identify those involved in trouble.

“I can promise we will not hesitate to take robust action against anyone who seeks to commit criminality or intimidate others whilst masquerading as ‘having fun.’ Reports of damage to property or assaults on emergency services personnel will be met with the full weight of the law.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Service Delivery, Scott Donegan, said: “Following the bonfire cancellations last year, we want people to go out and enjoy what promises to be a fun time of year across our region, however, our priority is that people reduce any risk to themselves, others and celebrate safely!

“If possible, it’s best to go to an organised event as the bonfires and firework shows are bigger and more spectacular, as well as of course being much safer. But if you do plan to have a bonfire in your own garden then please follow our guidance.

“That includes only adults buying fireworks, and only from a reputable retailer. Read and follow the Fireworks Code. Think carefully about where you place your bonfire, how you will keep it under control and how you’ll make sure both adults and youngsters are safe around the fireworks and the flames.

“Staying safe with sparklers is crucial. Sparklers should never be given to a child under five, must always be held at arm’s length and in a gloved hand. Once they have gone out put sparklers in bucket of water or sand.”

You can have a two-way conversation with a member of the Customer Contact Centre team via the 101 Live Chat facility. Unlike when dealing with a 101 call, the agent can respond to a number of live chat enquiries simultaneously.

There’s also answers to lots of frequently asked questions about subjects such as trick or treating, fireworks and anti-social behaviour available at: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ask-the-policeA number of crimes or incidents such as anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and suspicious behaviour can be reported online. If you have previously reported an offence and are looking for an update, you can use the Crime Tracker to check on progress or leave a message for an officer via the website.

999 should always be used in an emergency, where there is a danger to life or crime in progress.

For more information about the options to ‘click before you call’, please visit: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/contact-us