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Advice on how you can look out for your neighbours this Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night

Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night can be scary for people who are elderly or live alone.

This year, the force is encouraging each of us to look out for neighbours and say hello to people who might feel isolated or lonely, to help keep our communities safe.

Ashley Jones, Chair of Trustees for Avon and Somerset Police’s Senior Citizen Liaison Team, said: “If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour, why not pop around this week to check they’re ok and offer to display a ‘no trick or treaters’ poster in their window.

"Isolation and loneliness can increase vulnerability to crime, but simply saying ‘hello’ can make all the difference and help keep people safe.

“If someone feels genuinely threated or scared, they can call us on 999. But Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are two of the busiest nights of the year for our call handlers. So, if a crime isn’t in progress and no-one is in immediate danger, please think twice about calling us – someone with a genuine emergency might be waiting to get through.

"If it isn’t an emergency, you can report it on the police website.”

Things you can do 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 or Bonfire Night.
• Download a ‘No trick or treaters’ poster from the Avon and Somerset police website and ask if they would like one.
• Don’t let off fireworks after midnight on Bonfire Night. More information about firework legislation is available on the Gov.co.uk website.
• Let neighbours know if you’re planning a party or a fireworks display, so they won’t be alarmed.
• Remind children to respect others' property and don’t call on homes that have the 'sorry no trick or treat' poster.
• If you’re having a bonfire, make sure it’s a safe distance from any property, hedges or fences and that you have a water supply nearby in case something goes wrong.

Fireworks safety

• Follow the instructions on each firework – read them in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame.
• Make suitable supports and launchers if you’re setting off Catherine wheels or rockets.
• On the run-up to Bonfire Night, retailers should ensure they know the legislation around selling fireworks. It is illegal to sell these to anyone under 18.
• It is an offence for anybody under the age of 18 to have a firework in a public place or for anyone to throw a firework.
Posted on Wednesday 26th October 2016
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