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Police warn against Halloween anti-social behaviour

Photo by David Parodyhttp://www.dotcom.gi/photos/

Two vulnerable persons were subjected to “unacceptable harassment and distress” by ‘killer clowns’ this month, the Royal Gibraltar Police revealed yesterday as it warned of a stern response to Halloween anti-social behaviour.

The RGP said most people enjoy Halloween responsibly, but it nevertheless cautioned that intentionally causing fear, alarm or distress is considered a criminal offence under the Crimes Act.

Police will respond to any such incidents “promptly and robustly”.

“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,” said Superintendent Cathal Yeats, Head of Operations at the RGP.

“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.”

Ahead of the Halloween festivities, the RGP has been conducting its traditional awareness campaign to address potential issues of anti-social behaviour.

School Liaison Officers delivered a structured programme of presentations to children at all local schools promoting safety and good citizenship, as well as engaging local retailers with regards to 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,” the RGP said in a statement.

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 and old are able to enjoy the evening safely, whether attending organised events or through the traditional visiting of homes within residential areas.