The Covid Tier 2 rules for Halloween in Leeds explained by West Yorkshire Police trick or treat guidance
It's the season of pumpkin carving and traditionally trick-or-treating, but Halloween is going to look very different this year.
West Yorkshire Police have published their guidance on what is permitted in Leeds on Saturday October 31, due to the Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions in place.
Leeds has been put into the 'High' Covid Alert category, which means household mixing is banned in any indoor setting.
Households can mix in groups of up to six people outside if practising social distancing, but it is strongly advised against by Leeds City Council.
Now West Yorkshire Police have warned that trick or treating is not encouraged this year, even with members of your household.
The force has urged families to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus, sticking to indoor Halloween activities instead.
Trick or treating has not been specifically banned, but the advice has been echoed by the council which indicated that things like handing out sweets "isn't the best idea".
Chief Superintendent Damien Miller said: “This year, unlike any other, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, this period around Halloween and Bonfire Night will be different than ever before.
“We do want people to enjoy themselves, but now as the whole of West Yorkshire has been placed in the ‘High’ Covid alert level, the usual festivities will not be possible and we are urging everyone to play their part and follow the guidance.
“This year, trick or treating is not encouraged, but there are lots of activities families can do at home and to keep them safe.”
Police have also been given special powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in Leeds following violent scenes in Harehills on Bonfire Night last year.
Fireworks and missiles were launched at residents and emergency services leaving a number of officers injured.
Police have now charged 13 people after a lengthy investigation into the chaotic scenes and an injunction has been granted to officers and the council to take action against any individual or group that is found to be using fireworks in an anti-social or threatening manner.
But the issue seems to be particularly bad at night, with reports of firework misuse in the Ashton Road play area, Harehills Park and Banstead Park - where trouble flared last year.
Ch Supt Miller added: “We will have an increased neighbourhood policing presence across all five districts in West Yorkshire, to offer reassurance, particularly to vulnerable residents.
“If anyone is concerned for their safety or has witnessed anti-social or criminal behaviour then we would urge them to contact the police.
"We would ask members of the public to be mindful though of the increased demand on both our 999 and 101 call handlers and consider whether there is an online option available to them.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “It continues to be a very challenging time for everyone and we know Halloween and Bonfire Night can be a welcome distraction for many parents and children.
"Conversely, for those not taking part, they can be an added stress and cause for anxiety.
"Our aim is to ensure everyone enjoys (or ignores) these events in the safest manner possible during this Covid pandemic and adheres to the restrictions in place for West Yorkshire.
“As we all know things can change quite rapidly, so please ensure you are keeping an eye on Government announcements and the local guidance on the Gov.uk website so you can keep up to date on Covid restrictions as well as guidance
“For anyone experiencing anti-social behaviour or clear breaches of the restrictions in place I would urge they contract West Yorkshire Police.
"But most of all, it continues to be about using common sense, thinking of others and following the local guidance so that we can all be as safe as possible, thank you.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has also urged people to act responsibly this Halloween.
Area Manager Scott Donegan said: “We know that things are different this year and for many, usual plans have had to change. I want to remind people that we must all continue to take care of ourselves and each other.
“If you are celebrating please be respectful of your neighbours and your community – remember, we’re all in this together.
"Please also remember that the handling of fireworks is best left to the professionals. Please don’t risk injury or having to call on the emergency services or NHS at a time when they are so desperately needed in fighting the pandemic.
“Take care of yourselves and each other, continue to follow the guidance given in the area that you live in and, as always, if you need us please call 999.”
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