AVON and Somerset Police say they want to ensure everyone enjoys a "safe and happy" Hallowe'en as they prepare for a busy weekend responding to 999 and 101 calls.

A spokesperson for the force says it can be a stressful time of year for people who are elderly, vulnerable or live alone, putting them at a higher risk of becoming victims of crime if they feel isolated or alone.

They offer a few tips to help your neighbours feel safe:

  • Start by just saying ‘hello.’
  • Ask if they would like you to check if they are ok on Hallowe'en with a visit or a call.
  • Ask if they would like you to download and print the force's ‘Sorry, no trick or treaters here’ poster so they can display it in their window.
  • Let neighbours know if you’re planning a party, so they won’t be alarmed.
  • Remind children to respect others’ property and not to call on homes that have the ‘Sorry, no trick or treaters here’ poster.

Parents also might want to talk to their children about our safety advice for trick or treaters:

  • Always go trick or treating with an adult.
  • Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents.
  • Don’t knock on doors where there is a sign saying ‘no trick or treat here’.
  • Don’t knock on the doors of strangers (or look out for signs that trick or treaters are welcome, such as Hallowe'en decorations).
  • Stay in areas that are lit with streetlights and take a torch with you just in case.
  • Stay with your friends – don’t split into smaller groups unless an adult goes with you.
  • Throwing eggs and flour at houses causes criminal damage. You could be arrested.
  • Don’t talk to strangers on the street and never enter any house, just stay on the doorstep.
  • Although Hallowe'en is supposed to be spooky, be considerate to those who don’t take part and be careful not to frighten vulnerable people.
  • Remember road safety, always look carefully before crossing the road and be visible.

The Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said: "We expect to receive an increase in 101 and 999 calls during Hallowe'en and need to make sure that we can deal with your needs in the quickest and most appropriate way.

"If your report does not require an urgent response, you can report a crime online at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/ or by calling 101. In an emergency, call 999.