Police and fire service advise how to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night

Greater Manchester Police is taking part in the annual Treacle campaign which focuses on tackling anti-social behaviour up to and during Halloween and Bonfire night celebrations.

Halloween and Bonfire Night is a time of year many of us enjoy parties and fun with the family.

But for some communities it is not a time of celebration, but misery, as they become victims of antisocial behaviour (ASB) and criminal damage. For others, often children, they become all too aware of the dangers of fires and fireworks.

Representatives from GMP, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive and Transport for Greater Manchester are working together to ensure that people remain as safe as possible during the celebrations.

GMP is advising everyone it is always safer to go to organised events where possible and is reminding people of the law around the sale and use of fireworks – you must be over 18 to buy or use fireworks.

Representatives from GMP and GMFRS will be holding a live Twitterchat on Thursday, October 27, from 6-7.30pm to give the people of Greater Manchester the chance to ask any questions or voice any concerns they may have about this time of year. This could be about the threat of ASB, the dangers of fire and fireworks or any other questions they may have.

A poster has been created which can be displayed and shows trick or treaters if they are welcome or not – these can be picked up from local neighbourhood teams or downloaded at www.safe4autumn.com – there’s also a host of useful information on the Safe4Autumn website.

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said: “We want people to have fun throughout Halloween and Bonfire Night but we urge people to behave responsibly and respect their neighbours and everyone around them.

“I would like to remind people that antisocial behaviour, such as setting bins on fire, misuse of fireworks and other criminal damage won’t be tolerated. Such behaviour could result in a police visit, a £90 fine, arrest and even a criminal record.

“Don’t underestimate the impact on those who are victims of the crimes associated to this time of year; so consider them before you act and instead enjoy yourselves sensibly.”

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton said: “We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween and Bonfire Night. This is an exciting time of year for lots of people, but it can be very dangerous if people don’t take extra care.

“We would advise everyone to attend one of the many fantastic locally organised fireworks displays rather than holding their own – you’ll get far more entertainment for your money.

“If you do have a display at home always follow the fireworks code, keep your Halloween costumes away from naked flames and make sure you build your bonfire well away from anything else which might set alight.”

People can report antisocial behaviour by calling police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, unless it is an emergency, in which case please call 999.