Guidance is given out by the police ahead of Halloween

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TRICK or treaters are being warned by police not to scare elderly residents this Halloween.

A police spokesman said: ‘Be respectful to others’ property if they don’t answer the door or offer a treat. Playing a trick could get you into trouble and may amount to a criminal offence.’

Officers are also giving advice to elderly and vulnerable people worried about this year’s celebration.

Advice for elderly and the vulnerable includes:

n If you do not know who is calling at your house, you do not need to open the door.

n Try to see who is at the door by looking through a spy hole or window before opening the door.

n If you have a chain on your door – keep this in place when opening the door. If you feel threatened in your home, contact the police.

Police are also urging parents trick or treating to follow these tips:

n Make sure children wearing costumes also wear reflective clothing or tape and carry a torch.

n Children trick or treating should go out in a group, preferably accompanied by an adult.

n Older youngsters should let parents know where they are going and when they will be back.

n Children should carry a mobile phone in a pocket or bag.

n Make sure children know not to enter anyone’s house or to accept lifts from strangers.

n Be aware of ‘no trick or treaters’ posters.