With the clocks going back and the evenings starting to draw in, Halloween and Bonfire Night to me mark the true beginning of winter and the run up to Christmas. Both are occasions that should be, and usually are, associated with parties and family fun.
Unfortunately there are often a few idiots who prefer to make people’s lives a misery through indulging in anti-social behaviour and criminal damage. Sometimes not paying attention to the proper safety precautions – things like misusing fireworks on Bonfire Night and not checking where your children are going and with whom on Halloween – can also turn nights of celebration into nights of tragedy.
That’s why we’re working with the Greater Manchester Police and our partners on a multi-agency, Greater Manchester-wide campaign called Operation Treacle. Its aim is simple – to prevent, tackle and protect against bonfire and firework injuries, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage during the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.
As part of this work we’ve set up a website, www.safe4autumn.com that makes all of Operation Treacle’s information easily and publically available.
It includes safety tips for Halloween and phone numbers to report anti-social or criminal behaviour should you need to. You can also download Treacle posters here – these will let people know whether trick or treaters are welcome at your house or not. We want everyone to have an enjoyable and a safe Halloween. We understand that trick or treating has become an exciting tradition for youngsters, but we also understand that can be distressing for some vulnerable members of the community. We ask trick or treaters to respect the wishes of those who choose not to mark the occasion or face the consequences.
When Bonfire Night rolls along, we’d sincerely urge you to attend an organised event rather than risking your safety by having your own bonfire and/or fireworks. If you still want your own bonfire or firework display, then please make sure you know about bonfire safety guidelines and follow the firework safety code. Every year on Bonfire Night there are hundreds of accidents – some of which involve children and some of which could have been avoided entirely had the proper precautions been taken. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
We’re not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy themselves – we’re saying is that the period is best enjoyed when you respect both your own safety and the safety of others. We urge everyone to stay safe, respect their neighbours and, most importantly, have fun.