Horror walk reduces Halloween call-outs for police

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POLICE have organised a ‘horror walk’ for children and young people in a bid to cut down anti-social behaviour on Halloween night.

This Friday hundreds of children will dress up in scary costumes and go knocking on people’s doors to ‘trick or treat’.

It may be very innocent, but police and community leaders believe it can be intimidating for elderly people.

To give children a fun night out, Hayling Island police and the Safer Havant Partnership have organised a ‘horror walk’ along the seafront.

PCSO Neil Roberts, from Hayling Island Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: ‘This is the second year we have run this event.

‘The original idea was due to the high numbers of elderly residents on the island. Halloween can be quite intimidating for them due to trick or treating .

‘So it’s to give the children something else fun to do rather than knocking on doors for the evening.

‘Last year we received only two calls regarding anti-social behaviour on Halloween night during the event, so it was decided that it was successful.’

A letter has been sent to local parents.

It says: ‘It is intended that we will start from Funlands, meet at 5.45pm for a 6pm departure on the miniature railway to Eastoke Corner, where refreshments will be available from Pepperelli’s Ice Cream Parlour.

‘We will then walk back to Funlands via the footpaths, with a few spooky surprises along the way.

‘Once we arrive back at Funlands there will be some fun games and the all important costume competition.

‘Funlands management have also kindly agreed to offer unlimited ride wrist bands at a discounted price of £5 for participants in the horror walk.

‘Finally, a firework display put on by Funlands will round off the evening.’

Jan Mitchell, an area-coordinator with Havant Neighbourhood Watch, said: ‘I know one or two older people who have sat with the lights off rather than let kids know they are in.

‘It can be very scary for some people because it’s not a British tradition. I think this is a very good idea. They are trying so hard our safer neighbourhood team. I think they are doing a really good job.’