Trick or Treat Rules

With Halloween just around the corner, it will soon be time for spooky costumes, carved pumpkins and trick-or-treating. Here are some hints and tips to make sure that your trick or treating is a success both for you and your neighbours.

Trick or Treating Rules for Children
1) Always tell an adult where you are going and at what time you will be back.
2) Stick to areas you know and stay in well lit areas. Avoid alleyways or shortcuts.
3) Make sure you can see where you are going from behind your mask.
4) Look out for cars. Wear something bright so traffic can see you.
5) Carry a torch with fresh batteries and a mobile phone if you have one.
6) Only visit houses of people you know and who are happy for you to visit.
7) Look out for "No Trick or Treat" signs or other signs asking for no callers. Do not knock at these doors.
8) Wait until you are home before you eat your treats.
Advice for Parents
1) Accompany your children while trick or treating and supervise them at all times.
 2) Ensure your children are home by 8pm.
3) Give your children a torch and something bright to wear. Halloween costumes are often dark and can make it hard for traffic to see them.
4) Guide your children to well lit areas and houses where you know the occupant.
5) Do not allow children to visit homes with "No Caller" signs.
6) Avoid the homes of elderly people unless you have made arrangements in advance.
7) Pumpkins and decorations usually indicate that trick or treaters are welcome.
8) Avoid large groups of trick or treaters.
9) Do not allow children to leave home with eggs or flour.
10) Check the sweets before your children eat them.
Advice for Neighbours - Taking Part
1) Display pumpkins and decorations if you welcome trick or treaters.
2) Put up a notice on your door to indicate trick or treaters are welcome.
3) Have a supply of small sweets ready when you open the door. Hand the sweets to each child rather than offering the bowl/container.
4) Do not leave your door open while you fetch things from other parts of your house.
5) Keep bins and recycling containers away from the edge of your property.
Advice for Neighbours - Prefer Not to Take Part
1) Avoid displaying pumpkins and decorations as these indicate you welcome trick or treaters.
2) Put up a notice on your door to avoid being disturbed.
3) Do not feel under pressure to give sweets, gifts or money. Ask people to leave and close the door if you are not taking part.
4) Ignore people knocking at your door if you do not want to take part or are not expecting visitors.
5) Leave a door chain on if you decide to answer the door.
6) Report any antisocial behaviour to the police.

In the past Thames Valley Police has produced posters to help trick or treaters find willing households. We have added downloadable copies here.

Trick or Treaters Welcome Poster
No Trick or Treaters Poster