31 Oct 2020

Police issue safety reminders for Halloween night

11:50 am on 31 October 2020

Parents and caregivers are being reminded to look after their trick-or-treating children during Halloween outings.

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File photo. Photo: 123rf

Police crime prevention manager Eric Tibbot says Halloween activities can be fun for children to dress up, but it is important to stay safe.

He said it was good to remember that not everyone likes to take part in Halloween or can take part.

"Halloween is mostly a fun time for children and young people, but not everyone, young or old, is able to participate or appreciates repeated knocks on the door. All we ask is that trick or treaters are respectful of others."

Tibbot said parents or caregivers should accompany children and not let them go off with people they do not know.

"It's important to remember that young children should be supervised at all times, staying in areas where they know their neighbours, staying with friends or an adult, and respecting people's privacy," he said.

He said as an alternative to trick-or-treating, children and parents could attend a local community event instead.

There have also been concerns around trick or treating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dignan Street in Point Chevalier usually welcomes hundreds of trick or treaters - but this year things are effectively being called off, as some households cited Covid concerns.

Deputy director of public health Dr Harriette Carr told Checkpoint New Zealand was lucky to be in Covid-19 alert level 1, meaning children can go trick or treating, but she said there should be precautions.

"If anyone is self-isolating or been told that they need to stay away from others then we recommend that they put a sign outside their house, not to trick or treat," she said.

"Equally, anyone that is sick or feeling unwell should not go trick or treating, and should also put a sign outside their house. That's a really good way people can both protect themselves and protect others.

"Anyone handling food or lollies should always make sure their hands are clean so wash hands, or if children are going trick or treating, they've got hand sanitizer with them if they're going to be eating food or handling food."

People participating in Halloween from their houses could also download a Covid QR code for their house, so visitors can record their movements. Parents should also manually record which house their children had visited, she said.

In the run-up to Halloween, auction site Trade Me has reported a 10 percent lift in sales of costumes in October, compared to 2019.

Top sellers included Harley Quinn, a character from the movie Birds of Prey, and various Harry Potter characters.

Trade Me's Millie Silvester said another popular option was Joe Exotic from the Netflix series, Tiger King.

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