As Halloween approaches, the force has called for parents to ensure they know what their children are up to and that neighbours are properly respected, while also asking shopkeepers to avoid selling eggs and flour to those “looking to cause disorder”.
Hillingdon is Here was told by police that there had been a move away from trick-or-treating to “outright yobbery”, in recent years, with officials insisting “it won’t be tolerated”.
Historically, there has been a spike in crime and anti-social behaviour during this time but Hillingdon police assured residents they have strong plans in place to deal with it.
Temporary Chief Inspector Rob Bryan told Hillingdon is Here he had this message for parents: “Know what your kids are up to. Make sure they respect their community and neighbours”.
He told youngsters: “If you don’t want your mum or dad with you when trick to treating, then you are too old for it. Don’t be knocking on doors”.
He said: “Those riding mopeds dangerously, or cycling in a stupid way down the road, as well as those causing disorder will be caught and will be dealt with. If you break the law you will be risking a criminal record. It’s just not worth it.
“Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be speaking with shops to encourage them not to sell eggs or flour to those looking to cause disorder. We will also be increasing our patrols, both in uniform and plain clothes and those caught breaking the law will be dealt with robustly”.
Hillingdon's team will be taking part in the London-wide operation by the Metropolitan Police called Op Autumn Nights. The aim is to combat anti-social behaviour and associated crimes during the darker evenings, focusing on the half term holiday, Halloween and Guy Fawkes celebrations.
Officers will plan their operations based on predictive mapping, analysis of current, and past, ASB and crime hot spots to ensure high visibility and plain clothed officers are in the right place at the right time.
These tactics have seen a 37 per cent reduction in ASB calls over the last three years (205,766 fewer incidents) into London to 31 March 2016 and a 33 per cent reduction in ASB repeat callers (4,578 fewer calls) over the same period.
Test purchasing operations regarding the sale of fireworks, alcohol and over the counter weapons will also be taking place. Any proprietors found in breach of licensing laws will be dealt with robustly.
Schools officers have been reiterating safety tips to young people ahead of the festivities to promote personal safety and good citizenship.
MPS Safer Transport Command, in partnership with Transport for London, will also be carrying out increased high visibility patrols to prevent disorder on buses and at transport hubs across London. They will be “educating them on the importance of respecting their fellow passengers when travelling on London's transport network”.
Chief Superintendent Jason Gwillim said: "I would like to stress that our operations are not aimed at demonising young people, the large majority of whom behave safely and responsibly. However those intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour will face the consequences."
Officers will be visiting vulnerable residents to address any concerns and to offer crime prevention advice.