POLICE in Avon and Somerset have issued a series of tips to ensure trick and treaters can enjoy a fun Hallowe'en - without spooking vulnerable people.

A spokesperson for the force said the occasion can be scary for the elderly, vulnerable and those who live alone.

There is a risk they could become victims of crime if they feel isolated or alone.

Here's what you can do to help your neighbours feel safe:

  • Start by just saying ‘hello.’
  • Ask if they would like you to check if they are OK on Hallowe'en with either a visit or a call.
  • Ask if they would like you to download and print on of Avon and Somerset Police's ‘sorry, no trick or treaters here’ posters from the force website so they can display it in their window.
  • Let neighbours know if you’re planning a party, so they won’t be alarmed.
  • Remind children to respect others’ property and not to call on homes that have the ‘sorry, no trick or treaters here’ poster displayed.

Parents also might want to talk to their children about our safety advice for trick or treaters:

  • Always go trick or treating with an adult.
  • Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents.
  • Don’t knock on doors where there is a sign saying ‘no trick or treat here’.
  • Stay in areas that are lit with streetlights and take a torch with you just in case.
  • Stay with your friends – don’t split into smaller groups unless an adult goes with you.
  • Throwing eggs and flour at houses causes criminal damage. You could be arrested.
  • Don’t talk to strangers on the street and never enter any house, just stay on the doorstep.

The Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson added: "Although Hallowe'en is supposed to be spooky, be considerate to those who don’t take part and be careful not frighten vulnerable people.

"Remember road safety, always look carefully before crossing the road and be visible."

If you’re a shopkeeper:

  • Remember not to sell eggs or flour to young people and that selling fireworks to under-18s is an offence.