Hampshire Police have issued a free poster for people who want to discourage trick or treat callers at Halloween.
A spokesman said: ‘Every year Hampshire Constabulary’s force control room receives calls from people who have been frightened or disturbed by trick or treaters in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
‘If you do not want to be disturbed by trick or treaters this Halloween, download and print out a copy of the “No Trick Or Treat” poster to display by your front door.’
The force has issued this advice for the elderly or vulnerable members of the community staying home at Halloween:
1.If you do not know who is calling at your house, you do not need to open the door.
2. Try to see who is at the door by looking through a spy hole or window before opening the door.
3. If you have a chain on your door - keep this in place when opening the door.
4. If you feel threatened in your home, please contact the police.
5. Police advice to children and their parents is to be mindful that some of the more vulnerable or elderly members of the community do not wish to participate in Halloween activities and in fact may feel intimidated by groups of people calling at their doors.
The police say shops are also displaying posters, reminding shoppers that eggs or flour will not be sold to under-16s in the days leading up to October 31.
Hampshire Constabulary has also prepared advice for children and their parents.
1. If your child is going outside in a costume - make sure they are wearing reflective clothing or add reflective tape to their clothes.
2. Carry a torch and consider road safety at all times.
3. If your child is going out trick or treating - make sure they go out in a group, preferably accompanied by an adult.
4. Older children should let you know where they are going and what time they will be back.
5. Children should carry a mobile phone in a pocket or bag.
6. Make sure your children know not to enter anyone’s house or to accept lifts from strangers.