No Halloween arrests in Avon & Somerset
By BeckyFeather | Thursday, November 01, 2012, 08:54
Police today reported that last night was the quietest ever Halloween in Avon & Somerset.
Police say that it was the quietest ever 'fright night' in the Avon & Somerset force area
Between 4.30pm last night and 2.30am this morning just 332 999 calls were recorded, compared with 475 calls last year, which was itself a reduction on the 571 received in 2010.
Year-on-year since 2007 there has been a fall in the number of calls recorded on what has traditionally been one of the busiest nights of the year for the police in Avon & Somerset. On Halloween in 2007 more than 1,900 999 calls were recorded.
During last night there were isolated incidents across the force area – minor incidents involving fireworks, eggs and flour and some anti-social behaviour - but high-profile, anti-social behaviour patrols were held and no arrests were made.
The number of non-emergency calls via the 101 number also dropped. A total of 668 calls were recorded between 4.30pm and 2.30am, a significant reduction on last year's 844 calls. In 2006 almost 2,800 non-emergency calls were logged by the force's communications team for the same period.
Police followed the approach of recent years in the weeks leading up to Halloween, with high profile publicity and partnership work with schools and retailers, as well as working with young people in schools and youth clubs. They highlighted how egg- and flour-throwing incidents can cause distress to the vulnerable and elderly.
And last night this was bolstered by the rolling-out of well-rehearsed plans – responding to distressed community members swiftly but also providing high visibility patrols across the force area to provide additional reassurance.
Additionally extra staff were drafted into the Portishead police HQ to deal with any increase in 999 and non emergency 101 calls.
More than 98 per cent of 999 calls were answered within 10 seconds. To provide further reassurance to those calling for police help, a special "call-back" system was set up for victims, ensuring that those that require it, received a reassurance call-back.
Chief Inspector Andy Bennett said: "Obviously the wet weather deterred a lot of people from going out to trick and treat.
"Our aim was to ensure people had an enjoyable time, providing support and reassurance to our vulnerable and elderly members of the community, while at the same time cracking down on the isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour – egg- and flour-throwing and firework incidents.
"There were a small minority of people who tried to cause problems during the evening but these turned out to be isolated incidents which were dealt with quickly and effectively. There were no arrests for Halloween-related anti-social behaviour."