AS CHILDREN prepare to take to the streets to celebrate Hallowe’en, extra police officers and council patrols are also being stepped up to respond to the threat of antisocial behaviour.

Each year the emergency services and local authorities are inundated with reports of antisocial behaviour as groups of young people trick or treat in communities around the county.

Police and council bosses are urging youngsters to respect older neighbours by not disturbing those who are displaying a “No Trick or Treat” poster near their front door.

Published in the Daily Echo today the poster can be displayed on front doors or windows asking trick or treaters not to call.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Neighbourhoods and Partnership lead Chief Inspector Jerry Patterson said: “Every year, Hampshire Constabulary’s force control room receives calls from people who have been frightened or disturbed by trick or treaters in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“We’re not saying that we don’t want people to have fun at Hallowe’en, we just want to impress upon those taking part the need to behave appropriately and to be considerate of others.”

Across Southampton patrols are being stepped up with all available officers on foot and cycle patrols in the city.

Insp Rachel Stokes said: “We want to ensure that groups are respecting the wishes of those who don’t want to be disturbed while making sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable Hallowe’en.”

Hampshire County Council will also be using its workforce of Accredited Community Safety Officers (ACSOs) who will be carrying out high-visibility patrols on foot and in marked vehicles.

They have the power to confiscate items like fireworks, alcohol, cigarettes or spraypaint and passing information on to the police as well as Trading Standards.