Cannock Chase Council is working closely with Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and local outreach workers to help young people stay safe and keep out of trouble this Halloween and Bonfire.
Halloween can be harmless fun but some members of the community can become distressed by unexpected trick or treaters. Part of a wider ‘Take Care and Be Aware’ initiative, young people are being encouraged to ‘Think – Be Aware Who You Scare’ and to follow the latest Covid guidelines this Halloween.
The campaign aims to encourage young people to be respectful of other people in the community and not to get involved in anti-social behaviour.
Daily messages will be posted on the Council’s social media in the run up to Halloween and Bonfire. These will include general safety tips, useful numbers, and advice from its Environmental Health team about what you can and cannot burn in your gardens.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are also advising people not to have bonfires in their gardens.
Residents are being discouraged in taking part in traditional trick or treat activities this year. Instead, they are being encouraged to bring the magic of Halloween to their homes with spooky movie nights, pumpkin carving and decorating of homes and gardens.
The Council would love to see people’s Halloween efforts this year and would like to encourage people to upload their spooky fun on their Facebook page – Cannock Chase Life.
Cannock Chase Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) will be running Operation Sparkler from 31 October until 6 November and carrying out high visibility patrols in anti-social behaviour hotspots and responding to reports of anti-social behaviour. The Council’s Environmental Health team will be assisting the Police with these patrols.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service will also be undertaking a number of patrols and delivering a Safe and Sound educational package to schools. This is will include messages around fire safety and crime prevention.
Councillor Alan Pearson, Leader for Crime and Partnerships, said: “The ‘Take Care and Be Aware’ initiative demonstrates how partners are working together and are committed to making our neighbourhoods safe and enjoyable for everyone especially during these unprecedented times.
“The campaign will remind young people that Halloween can appear harmless fun, but it can sometimes scare and intimidate our elderly and vulnerable residents. Trick or treating will not be taking place as normal this year, but that doesn’t mean people still can’t have fun. There are so many activities families can do at home.
“With safety our main concern, we are urging parents to ensure their children are properly supervised and all are adhering to current Covid guidance this Halloween and Bonfire”.
Chief Inspector Rebecca Hyde for Staffordshire Police said: “As expected we are not encouraging trick or treating due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Instead we are encouraging people to celebrate in different ways, applying common sense and avoiding anything that goes against the restrictions and maintain social distancing”.
Also, we are not encouraging Bonfire events such as penny for the guy, especially house calling. Please be respectful of fireworks and the injuries they can cause to yourself and others if not handled properly. Our advice would be to maybe avoid fireworks this year and look to see if there is something else you and your household can do safely to remember Guy Fawkes.”
Lisa Jenkinson, Prevent Delivery Lead for Cannock said “We are asking parents to educate their children on the dangers of fireworks. They are explosives and potentially dangerous so they shouldn’t be messed with. Fireworks must not be bought or used by anyone under the age of 18.”
A special Firework’s Hotline has been set up to answer any questions that residents have about Bonfire Night and safety associated with fireworks. The number to call is 01785 277 855. Alternatively, visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/takecare for more information.