News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Police and fire service team up to promote safe Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations

With Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations taking place over the next few nights, North Wales Police are once again working with the fire service and local councils to help ensure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone.

#OpBang is a joint initiative to help reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

Over the past few weeks members of the local policing teams have been engaging with young people across the region – in schools and youth clubs, organising diversionary activities.

Work over the period has also included promoting key messages about being considerate and respectful to all members of the community and reinforcing that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Shopkeepers are have also been encouraged not to sell flour and eggs to unaccompanied children in the days running up to the 31st October.

“Local policing teams across North Wales are working closely with their communities to ensure that those who want to have fun on Halloween can do so without causing upset to others,” said Chief Superintendent Nigel Harrison, local policing lead for North Wales Police.

“Although lots of people enjoy this time of year, unexpected knocks at the door throughout the evening can cause some people distress as many vulnerable members of our community can find it difficult and frightening.

He added: “We wish for everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween, but would like to remind people to have fun responsibly rather than disturbing others.”

Justin Evans, head of community safety for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Every year, countless people are badly injured and burnt in the run up to the bonfire season when lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks.

“Organised community events in North Wales definitely provide the best value for money for entertainment and also ensure that families no longer need to risk the dangers of back garden bonfire and fireworks parties.

“It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of eighteen years old. Many types of fireworks are banned from sale to the public. Throwing fireworks in a public place is also illegal – a fine of up to £5000 awaits anyone convicted.”

Chief Superintendent Harrison added: “We know the majority of people enjoy this time of year sensibly and we are not out to spoil their fun but unfortunately there is a minority who are intent on causing problems and use Bonfire Night as an excuse to commit crime and act anti-socially.

“We will be working in partnership with other agencies to keep people safe and make sure an exciting and enjoyable period is not tarnished by the minority. Bad behaviour will not be tolerated and together, we will take positive action where necessary.”

Anyone who has concerns about Halloween or Bonfire Night is encouraged to contact their local policing team wanting a poster can contact their local neighbourhood policing team via 101 or log onto the force website where contact details for individual members of your team are available.

North Wales Police have issued the following “top tips” for Halloween and Bonfire Night:

– Young children should always go trick or treating with an appropriate adult
– Plan your route and let people know where you are
– Do not take short cuts
– Make sure you stay in areas that are well lit with street lamps, and take a torch with you
– Never go into a stranger’s house
– Please respect residents who choose not to take part
– Don’t talk to strangers on the street
– Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly
– Ensure you are always visible; it may be a good idea to wear reflective tape on your costume
– Look carefully before crossing the road
– Remember that throwing eggs and flour at property is classed as criminal damage – and the police will deal with all incidents of anti-social behaviour accordingly
– Attending an organised display is the safest way to enjoy fireworks
– It’s an offence to sell or give fireworks to anyone under the age of 18. You can be fined or imprisoned for buying or using fireworks illegally
– It is also an offence to set off fireworks in a public place

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