Have a spooky but safe halloween

Hallowe'en at Castle Quay. NNL-171017-103740001

It’s that time of year again where ghosts and ghouls will soon be roaming the streets of Peterborough in readiness for Halloween.

It can be a fun time for children and families - a chance to dress up and eat sweets - but for others it can be a source of worry and concern, particularly the elderly or vulnerable. Even a knock at the door can cause upset, let alone a trick.

A good rule of thumb if you are out trick or treating is to look on the doorsteps of the homes you are calling on. If they have pumpkins or decorations displayed they will likely be receptive to visitors, if they don’t, walk on by to another home that does.

There is also a safety element to consider for children and young people who are trick or treating. Make sure masks fit well, so they move with the child’s head and they can see when they turn their head to look to the left and right, particularly when crossing the road.

With the clock change taking place this weekend and darker evenings upon us, if you are driving on the roads during Halloween, slow down when you see groups of young people out enjoying the festivities. You can add reflective tape to any costume for better visibility, or give your children glow sticks or glow bangles to make sure they can be seen and you can spot them. You could even get creative and incorporate these in their outfits, what about glow in the dark skulls to carry their sweets in!

We’ve all read news stories I am sure about the fire risk at Halloween and unfortunately it does tend to be a busier time for our fire and rescue service, as it is for our police service.

If you buy a costume, make sure it’s made of flame-resistant material and it’s the right length so not to cause a child to trip. Also, put candles and other naked flames away for Halloween as they can cause injury. Consider investing in artificial candles if you want to achieve that spooky glow.

And my final tip - albeit a more difficult one to manage I appreciate - it’s a good idea to tell your children to only take wrapped, pre-packaged sweets and make sure they don’t eat anything until a parent or other adult has inspected it.

By following these easy tips you’ll be sure to have a fun and safe Halloween. And if you don’t want to be disturbed on Halloween, you can download a poster to display from Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website - www.cambs.police.uk

Aside from Halloween, October has been a busy month for Peterborough’s Prevention and Enforcement Service. On Saturday both the English Defence League (EDL) and Peterborough Trades Union Council (PTUC) held demonstrations in the city centre.

Estimated numbers were around 30 people for the EDL demonstration and 60 for the PTUC event.

Thanks to the planning put in place, we ensured that those taking part in the march, and those who were in the vicinity, were safe and I’m happy to report that there were no serious incidents on the day.

We had worked very closely with our communities, businesses, police and partner organisations over the past few weeks to allay any concerns and reassure the community and to ensure the city could return to normal as quickly as possible after the demonstrations.

In other news, the Prevention and Enforcement Service is continuing to take action against those who litter, fly-tip and commit anti-social behaviour. Since 1 October, in the city centre we’ve issued 604 fixed penalty notices for those who continue to commit environmental crimes like littering, spitting and for cycling on footpaths. If you’re unsure of the law in relation to environmental crime, visit the Peterborough City Council website to find out more by searching ‘Public Space Protection Order’.

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