The witching hour ticks ever closer, as Halloween is fast approaching. From scream parks to zombie walks, there’s certainly plenty going on in Southend this month to celebrate the spookiest of seasons. The traditional Halloween activity of trick or treating is likely to be on the agenda for many but while this may mean fun for the majority, for others it can be tradition that instils fear for the wrong reasons.
As raised by Age UK, some people, particularly the vulnerable and the elderly, can understandably find the idea of strangers knocking on their door at night upsetting or frightening. Therefore, if you’re taking your children out trick or treating or if they’re planning on heading out with friends, ask them to read these short but important safety tips before they go to ensure fun can be had by all this Halloween.
Stay in a group and stick to well-lit areas
Adopt all the same safety principles as you would if you were walking in public on a normal evening. This means avoiding talking to strangers on the street, sticking together and staying in areas lit by streetlights. Also, keep to the doorstep of any house that you do approach.
carefully about your tricks
Over the years, ‘egging’ has become a commonplace Halloween trick. However, throwing things like eggs or flour can be classed as anti-social behaviour and can result in legal action – especially if it causes damage. Instead, try some tricks that are more harmless for all involved, like a fake spider.
Don’t cause a fuss if you get turned away
Some people won’t be prepared for Halloween and may not have any treats ready to give away – but that doesn’t mean they wish to be tricked either! If this is the case, simply wish them a happy Halloween and move onto another house.
Only go where is decorated
Where possible, only approach houses that have a visible Halloween decoration. A pumpkin outside the front of a house or specifically spooky additions to the front garden will usually act as a good sign that who lives there is happy to receive a visit from trick or treaters.
Avoid houses with ‘No trick or treaters’ posters up
It’s perfectly reasonable to want to avoid trick or treaters. The people living there might have a young child that needs to sleep, or they may struggle to get to the front door if they’re older – or they may simply not enjoy Halloween! Whatever the reason, avoid calling at places where it is clear they’d rather be left alone.
If you’re someone who would rather not receive Halloween visitors, you can download a poster from Essex Police to display in your window to help ward off trick or treaters. Furthermore, if you do notice any suspicious activity over the Halloween period, you can call ‘101’ and speak to your neighbourhood policing team.
At Giles Wilson we are committed to protecting the vulnerable at every time of year. We work with Solicitors for the Elderly to help empower the elderly and vulnerable across Essex. If you would have any issues for which you would like to receive trustworthy legal advice, call us on 01702 477 106 to arrange a free 30-minute consultation at our offices in Leigh-on-Sea or Rochford.