Liz McAinsh: Stay safe at Hallowe’en

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IT’S hard to believe we are now at the end of October and our plans and preparations for the festive period will begin shortly. Before then, however, officers are gearing up to keep people safe during the Hallowe’en weekend.

With October 31 falling on a Friday this year, many of Edinburgh’s licensed venues will be hosting Hallowe’en-themed events over the three-day period and large numbers of the public are expected to be out and about within the city.

We are keen to ensure everyone enjoys their evenings during this time, but would urge the public to drink responsibly and don’t let a great night be ruined by the over-consumption of alcohol.

If you are travelling around the city then try and plan your night in advance. Make sure you know where you’re going and how you plan to get home.

Wherever possible, consider using public transport or one of Edinburgh’s taxi or private hire companies when heading out. If you have to travel alone then stick to well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings at all time.

Hallowe’en is a busy night for police in the Capital and we will have additional patrols out in areas expected to see heavier footfall over the weekend.

In addition, Community Policing teams have already been engaging with local supermarkets, convenience stores and other shop premises in relation to the sale of items such as flour and eggs to youngsters.

Typically, the days around Hallowe’en result in an increase in antisocial behaviour and vandalism calls to police. Staff are therefore being asked to use their best judgement before selling goods like these to youths.

For those who are taking children trick-or-treating or guising this weekend, please be vigilant for any homes displaying a Police Scotland poster or other notice which confirms whether or not the household is willing to accept callers.

While many residents are happy to receive trick-or-treaters or guisers, and will be prepared for the increased activity at their homes, vulnerable members of the community may not wish to, or may not be able to come to the door.

Some young people may be preparing to go out with friends on Hallowe’en evening and parents are urged to ensure they know where their children are going, who they are with and when they will return home.

I would like to thank the public in advance for their assistance and support during the Hallowe’en weekend and would remind anyone wishing more advice on crime prevention or keeping safe that they can speak with their local policing team or visit the Police Scotland website at www.scotland.police.uk