Enjoy, be tolerant, but call 101 about genuine anti-social behaviour this Halloween
Last year, a total of 398 non-emergency calls were taken by police call handlers between 6pm and midnight on October 31; approximately 17 per cent of those related to Halloween. Now Leicestershire Police is reminding people to call 101 with all police non-emergency issues, including genuine anti-social behaviour in the week of Halloween and Bonfire Night festivities.
Leicestershire Police was given an October date to adopt as part of the national phased roll out of 101. During October, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland observes festivities including Diwali, Halloween and the days preceding Bonfire Night all of which present a set of unique challenges for the emergency services, city, county and district councils. The main complaints arise due to anti-social behaviour, the misuse of fireworks and the throwing of flour and eggs.
Superintendent Jez Cottrill, 101 project lead and Head of the Leicestershire Police Call Management Department said:
"It is important to state that some children will gather together and go from door-to-door to partake in "trick or treating" in the good spirit of Halloween. If done sensitively, this is not anti-social behaviour. Most will not be offended if a resident displays a sign or message to say they do not wish to take part. Most will also simply leave if politely asked to do so.
"Leicestershire Police is committed to reducing anti-social behaviour in local communities. Incidents that are purely noise related such as fireworks and noise nuisance are normally matters dealt with by Local Authorities.
"However, Leicestershire Police does wish to support residents who do experience genuine problems and officers will offer advice to callers who ring 101 or attend if it is appropriate to do so."
Leicestershire Police thanks the members of the public who have already begun to call 101. 101 now officially replaces 0116 222 2222 as Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland's police non-emergency number. Go to www.leics.police.uk/101 for more information.
Local Neighbourhood Policing Officers are now promoting the use of the 101 number. The public can help to ensure that 101 becomes widely remembered as 'the other number' to 999. Police call takers are available 24 hours-a-day seven days-a-week to listen to concerns and arrange appropriate responses.
On the introduction of the new 101 police non-emergency number, Cllr Sarah Russell, Assistant City Mayor and Cabinet lead for Neighbourhood Services said: "I think the adoption of 101 as the national police non-emergency number is a fantastic idea. The previous incarnation of 101 had a broader remit than just Police calls, and was a great success in Leicester, but it was a complex and expensive model. It makes sense to build on an existing Police infrastructure of 24/7 call handling. I look forward to working with Leicestershire Police to see if we can develop this new 101 service so that ultimately the public have only one number to call to report any incident of anti-social behaviour in Leicestershire."
To download a 'No Thanks Trick or Treaters' poster go to www.leics.police.uk/halloween
Anyone with information about crime or anti-social behaviour should contact Leicestershire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers which is free* and anonymous on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Visit www.leics.police.uk/support to find information on steps you can take to reduce crime, and what to do if you are subject to a crime or anti-social behaviour.