By Claire Buckie
Police in London are fearing that teenagers are using Hallowe’en as an excuse for violence and antisocial behaviour.
New figures show that teenagers are more likely to commit crimes at this time of year as they are dressed in disguise.
In the lead up to and on the 31st of October itself there seems to be a rise in robbery, violence and antisocial behaviour. The British Transport Police (BTP) this year are focusing on gathering information on teenagers who may be carrying knives around this period. More than 70 police officers have been patrolling major railway stations this week in a bid to crack down on knife crime.
The new operation involves an sms system in which youngsters can anonymously text police rather than speaking to them in person if they have any information at all on where there may be gangs and more importantly who is involved. Inspector Graham Urry of the BTP said: “This is secure, private and confidential.” The BTP began the search on Monday and since then there have been 90 arrests and 5 knives have been seized.
Hallowe’en is also the time where youngsters dress up and take to the streets trick or treating. Many of the vulnerable older generation feel the need to answer the door to them and ultimately give them money or sweets. This year, posters are being made available for residents who wish to be left in peace on all hallows eve.
The posters simply tell unwanted trick or treaters “No Trick or Treat, please enjoy your night without disturbing ours.” There are also posters for shop owners to display in windows which read “We reserve the right not to sell flour and eggs to anyone under 18. Have fun, be safe and respect others.” Supermarkets such as Sainsburys have already clamped down by refusing to sell eggs and flour to any suspicious looking teens.
In the past there have even been incidents involving broken property and graffiti on peoples doors and walls. Hallowe’en is supposed to be harmless fun but unfortunately some vandals find that this is the time to intimidate and distress others by for example, egging houses and cars as they are least likely to be caught at this time of year.