As Hallowe'en approaches, Sussex Police have issued a guide for trick or treaters and residents with the message 'to be polite on Hallowe'en night'.
Sussex Police sat: "Hallowe’en has become an increasingly popular celebration over the past few years for children, families and young people especially, but it is important not to have fun at the expense of others.
"If you are celebrating Hallowe’en, please consider the elderly and more vulnerable in the community who may find having strangers call at their door a frightening and intimidating experience.
"If you see someone displaying a no trick or treat poster, please do not call at those homes as people do not wish to be disturbed.
"Just be careful who you scare on Hallowe'en."
Some safety tips for Hallowe'en from Sussex Police:
One way to deter unwanted trick or treaters on October 31, is to print and display the 'no trick or treaters' poster.
If you are looking to take part in the Hallowe'en celebrations, you can use the 'trick or treaters welcome' poster.
For Trick or Treaters
Young children should always be accompanied by an adult. Older children should make sure an adult knows the area they plan to visit and what time they’ll be back
Stay in well-lit areas where there are plenty of houses
Keep to pavements and cross roads carefully
Consider calling only at houses where you know the occupants, rather than strangers.
Explain how vulnerable people can be frightened by an unexpected group calling at their door on a dark evening.
Respect the privacy and wishes of people who do not want to take part in trick or treat – observe the 'No Trick or Treaters please' posters people may display in doors or windows.
Residents are advised to continue to be vigilant when opening the door to strangers or unexpected callers.
If you feel unsafe:
Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spyhole, look out of a window, and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.
If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance.
If you are prepared to receive Trick or Treaters, switch on your outside light and remove any trip hazards. If you set lanterns outside your front door with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that costumes won't accidentally be set on fire.
If you are driving on the evening of the 31st, remember that excited children may be crossing the road unexpectedly, so slow down in residential areas and take extra care.
Officers will be out on patrol to deter any anti-social behaviour and will be quick to disperse groups of people who are found to be causing a nuisance.
Sussex Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.
To report anti-social behaviour, call 101, or report online at www.sussex.police.uk If you feel threatened, in an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.