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Police target spooky pranksters

By Laura Stubbs

A CAMPAIGN designed to protect the elderly and vulnerable from Halloween pranksters has received backing from Greater Manchester Police.

More than 100,000 posters have been produced by Treacle Partnership, to attach to residents’ doors and windows to warn off potential trick or treaters.

Police are hoping the posters, which display a “welcome” or a “sorry” message, will prevent vulnerable residents from receiving unwanted calls. 

Superintendent John Lyons of GMP said: “Halloween can be a lot of fun for many people, but it can also be distressing and intimidating for some of our residents.

“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, we just want to help raise awareness of the worry experienced by some of our community’s most vulnerable people.”

Organisers of the Treacle campaign also believe the launch will help curb anti-social behaviour in Greater Manchester during Halloween and Bonfire Night.

A Treacle spokesperson said there was a 14% drop in anti-social behaviour in Greater Manchester during their 2008 campaign, as well as a 45.7% decrease in firework nuisance.

The initiative is also being supported by local residents who said it will make them feel safer during the Halloween period.

Celia Brown, a 70-year-old widow from Prestwich, said: “I hate being on my own on Halloween because I’m always petrified of receiving a call.

“I don’t want to be a kill-joy but kids don’t understand what it’s like having a group of kids standing at your door.”

She added: “I think the posters are a good way of letting trick or treaters know whether they’ll be welcome.”

For more information on the Treacle campaign and to download the poster, visit www.safe4autumn.com.

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