Pumpkin-carving, fancy dress and spectacular firework displays; Halloween and Bonfire Night are often highlights in the family calendar.
But with a small minority seeing the autumnal events as an excuse to act in an antisocial manner, the period can leave many in our communities feeling anxious, intimidated and fearful.
With that in mind, South Wales Police will once again be supporting Op Bang, helping our communities to enjoy the festivities safely while asking them to remember that Halloween and Bonfire night are Not Fun For Everyone.
The period is traditionally extremely busy for the emergency services; last year South Wales Police received just over 2,000 calls for service* on Halloween, October 31st, and a further 1,690 on November 5th, Bonfire Night. Of those calls, 811 were via the emergency 999 number on Halloween, while 798 999 calls were received on Bonfire Night.
While demand often peaks on those dates, the period before, during and after those dates is also often extremely busy, placing additional demand on police and partners.
Our officers will continue to be visible in our communities in the run up to, and during, the festivities to help prevent and detect antisocial behaviour (ASB) and disorder.
Neighbourhood teams will be working closely with local authority partners and retailers during the next few weeks, reminding everyone of their responsibilities and sharing materials which can be displayed in shops to how a united front against ASB.
Our Schools Liaison Officers and partner agencies will also be visiting schools throughout the force area to educate pupils on the dangers of fireworks and bonfires as well as the consequences of antisocial behaviour.
Those concerned about the festivities and who don’t wish to be disturbed are encouraged to download our poster to display in their window to deter unwanted callers.
Chief Inspector Mark Brier, force lead for antisocial behaviour, said:
“South Wales Police is once again joining forces with the fire and rescue services, Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) and our wider partners, to prevent fireworks-related disorder and other forms of anti-social behaviour but nevertheless, we still anticipate a very busy period for ourselves and the other emergency services.
“Assaults, anti-social behaviour and arson are clearly unacceptable and could see offenders jailed or fined. We are urging our communities to celebrate safely and behave in a responsible way.
“There will be increased patrols in place across ASB hotspots, and we urge members of the public not to suffer in silence; contact us if you need help.
“We are committed to keeping not only the public, but our officers and emergency service colleagues safe, and we are grateful that our officers will be supported by the specialist resources and partners.
“Finally, we would like to appeal to parents and guardians to have frank conversations with young people and to be aware of what they are doing and who with, and where possible, to accompany them if they are out trick or treating, to ensure they are acting in a safe and respectful manner.”
Who to contact
To help us keep our lines free for those who need us most, please ensure you’re contacting the most relevant agency and using the most appropriate means of contact.
Concerns around antisocial behaviour and public safety is a matter for the police. If not an emergency, you can contact us via the following means: