Great Britain

Halloween backlash as Blackburn police urge parents to keep kids home

ANGRY parents have lashed out at a police message asking them to keep their children indoors this Halloween as a ban on household mixing continues.

Officers from Blackburn with Darwen Police are urging families not to go out trick or treating - warning them that doing so would be breaching coronavirus regulations.

A spokesman said: “As we approach Halloween we want everyone to enjoy themselves – it’s hugely popular with children and families across Lancashire and something to look forward to is what we all need right now.

“Everyone must do it safely though and, in particular, that means people will need to find alternative celebrations to traditional trick or treating. Lancashire is now in Tier 3 regulations and the law is that people can’t socialise with anyone who isn’t in their household or social bubble – this applies anywhere indoors and in private outdoor spaces including yards and gardens.

“This means traditional trick or treating where you go and knock on someone else’s door isn’t allowed as it means people from different households would be socialising and mixing. We know how disappointing this is but the rules are there to keep people safe.”

The statement went on to say that increased patrols would be in place in the run up to Halloween to ensure compliance - but many have since reacted to the news they cannot take their children out as usual.

One Lancashire resident said: “I think people should make their own decisions. If kids can go to school and mix with children all day, go supermarket, play together on street after school, buy sweets from shops, takeaways, postman with parcels, can’t see the difference, how are they going to police this?”

Another said: “But Amazon can knock on my door as can the postman, pizza delivery and we exchange items so how is trick or treat illegal? We won’t be socialising at all.”

A third added: “Honestly this is silly, the poor kids have had their summer robbed from them, six months of vital learning, Halloween and half term.

"So why is everything still open, surly that’s more dangerous. Mind boggling it really is. Just buy a large tub of individually wrapped/ packaged sweets wipe with sanitizer and leave to dry in tub? At least you know they’ve been sorted.”

The response has forced the police to respond to their original post, urging people to stay home as the coronavirus continues to spread across Lancashire.

A follow-up post reads: “We realise our message has upset quite a few people - but please understand that we have a role to play in keeping you and your children safe. We are bound by the law; we do our best to protect you from those who break it; and we are responsible for enforcing it.

"We know that the restrictions mean this year we can’t do the things we normally do - but in order to keep your kids safe, to keep you safe - and your vulnerable or elderly relatives safe and your friends who might have an underlying health condition you don’t know about - we have a duty of care to tell you what is, and isn’t allowed. Covid is a very real illness, with some very real and devastating consequences - we don’t wish that on anyone.”

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