West Yorkshire Police create Halloween poster to deter ‘trick or treat’ pests

By Maisie Andrews-Garth

ELDERLY or disabled residents who do not want to be disturbed by youths playing “trick or treat” on Halloween can place a West Yorkshire Police poster in their window.

The seasonal-themed poster reads “Sorry no trick or treat thank you.” Advice about having a safe Halloween has also been issued.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: “We want everyone to enjoy the festivities, however, not everyone wants to take part and Halloween can leave some people feeling anxious.

“Local officers will be working in their local communities to tackle and reduce anti-social behaviour.”

But a worker at the charity Age UK said not all old people would be able to print off the poster.

Margaret Nutter, 70, of East Leeds said: “Older people do not have the means to run these documents off. It would be better if they were distributed.

“I live with my sister in a small village, we take Halloween in good heart and buy sweets and we enjoy seeing little ones dressed up.

“But often there is constant knocking and if we don’t answer then we get tense because we know something bad could happen.

“I think when the children are with their parents it is okay.”

Coun Brian Cleasby, Liberal Democrat for Horsforth: “All my children are grown up but in my house we look forward to Halloween.

“I would say to anybody in the area – when you’re in the supermarket pick up a bag of sweets to leave by the door for children and their parents really appreciate it.

“It’s like keeping the magic of Santa alive. In Horsforth there is a community spirit. I’ve never heard of any problems but if it does ever happen it is a matter for the police to deal with.”

Parenting website Mumsnet published results of a survey of 1,190 people earlier this year, showing that 31 per cent did not like Halloween because it is a “commercial non-event”. And 34 per cent said they did not like the idea of their children walking round in the dark.

Other reasons given by users for disliking Halloween were the ‘tricks’ such as eggs being put through the letterbox (27 per cent) and the hassle of having to organise costumes for children (12 per cent).

At the time, CEO Justine Roberts said: “With killer clowns sweeping the nation, parents seem to be somewhat alienated by Halloween references to horror memes, anxious about trick-or-treating, and concerned about the sheer quantity of sugar involved.

“Meanwhile children increasingly seem to regard it as second only to Christmas in the calendar of festivities.”

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