In connection with the forthcoming Halloween festivities, the RGP has during the past few weeks been conducting its traditional awareness campaign, to address potential issues of Anti-Social Behaviour.

This has seen School Liaison Officers delivering a structured program of presentations to children at all local schools promoting safety and good citizenship, as well as engaging local retailers with regards the sale of specific items that have in the past been used to engage in Anti-Social Behaviour.

Although there have been no instances of widespread anti-social behaviour in recent years, the nature of the event itself can always lead to members of our community, especially vulnerable persons, to feel anxious and concerned due to uninvited trick or treating, and sporadic misbehaviour.

As a result, the RGP will again be conducting its annual policing operation involving officers deployed across residential areas and other hotspots, to ensure that both young/old are able to enjoy the evening safely, whether attending organised events or through the traditional visiting of homes within residential areas.

The recent “Killer Clown” trend saw 2 instances involving vulnerable persons being subjected to unacceptable harassment and distress earlier this month. Whilst the number of such incidents locally has been low, it is important that those who are out and about during Halloween understand that intentionally causing fear, alarm or distress is considered a criminal offence under the Crimes Act. We will respond to any such incidents promptly and deal with these robustly.

Superintendent Cathal Yeats, Head of Operations said: "In addition to the preparatory work already completed, our officers will be out on the day, interacting with those enjoying themselves and ensuring everyone can enjoy the festivities safely. As with other events throughout the year, our plans draw from our experience and tactics from previous years, focusing our resources in the right places and working closely and continually with our partners. I would like to stress that our operations are aimed at creating an environment where everyone can have fun whilst respecting people’s privacy and space. The large majority of participants behave safely and responsibly. However, those intent on committing crime, or being anti-social, will be dealt with robustly.