HALLOWEEN celebrations are likely to be a bit different this year due to the pandemic restrictions.

As concerns continue about rising Covid-19 infection rates across the county and the traditions of trick-or-treating carry a risk, Sussex Police are urging members of the public to enjoy safer ways of celebrating Halloween.

There are many alternatives that mean you can still enjoy Halloween

  • Take part in the Sussex Police competition for Sussex’s Spookiest House: take photos of your Halloween creations, decorations or pumpkins for a chance to win a visit to meet one of our police dogs. Find details on your local area’s police Facebook page.
  • Join the pumpkin trail: take part in ‘pumpkin spotting’. Every time your child spots a pumpkin, you reward them with a treat.
  • Be virtual: consider an online party with decorations, fancy dress and themed food. Play Halloween games, bake Halloween treats or tell spooky stories.
  • Decorate your home: dress up the outside of your house with Halloween decorations for you and your neighbours to enjoy.
  • Spooky Halloween hunt: hide Halloween sweets and treats around your homes or gardens as an alternative to trick-or-treating.

Sussex Police is reminding people that if they are getting involved in Halloween activities over this period that they be considerate to their neighbours and respectful of others’ property.

For the vast majority, Halloween is great fun and a time to celebrate with friends and family, but for some elderly and vulnerable people, or those living alone, some people’s behaviour can be intimidating.

To make it easy to see who doesn’t wish to be disturbed, Sussex Police have produced some posters. You can find the posters here.

At this time of year there is often an increase in anti-social behaviour, which can distress and worry many residents. Sussex Police will have an increased number of patrols to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you have been told to self-isolate, you should not participate in any in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out sweets to trick-or-treaters.

Chief Inspector Jon Carter said: “This year we are urging people to celebrate Halloween in a responsible way and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“We are here to make sure that everyone can still enjoy Halloween by focussing our resources in the right places and working closely with our partners and communities.

“We will also be engaging, explaining and encouraging people to act responsibly, reminding them to follow COVID-19 guidelines and following the rule of six.

“There will be increased patrols to deter any anti-social behaviour and provide a reassuring presence; officers will be quick to disperse groups of people who are found to be causing a nuisance.

“It is important to stress that the majority of people behave safely and responsibly, however, we will not tolerate antisocial behaviour and will take action where necessary.”

More advice is available here

Sussex Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.

You can also find out more about ASB and the support available at https://asbhelp.co.uk/

Communities can work together to prevent crime. By joining an existing Neighbourhood Watch scheme or becoming a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator your community can be stronger together.

To find out more about Neighbourhood Watch, visit their website http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/

Anti-social behaviour can be reported to us online or 999 in an emergency.