FORCE chiefs have revealed an almost 50% increase in reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage during Halloween.
Merseyside Police revealed a mixed bag of results for the Halloween weekend – they say there was an overall 48.8% increase in reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage (314 compared to 211 last year), which can largely be attributed to the fact that the anti-social behaviour figures include Covid-19 related incidents and breaches.
But reports of criminal damage alone decreased by 28.9% (27 incidents compared to 38 last year).
A total of 861 emergency and non-emergency calls were received during the policing operation between 2pm and 11pm on Saturday, October 31, up from 768, (a 12.1% increase) during the same period in 2019.
But there was a reduction in the number of calls received by the force about anti-social behaviour and criminal damage on Friday, October 30. A total of 1,285 calls were received during the police operation between 2pm and 11pm, down from 1,373, (a 6.4% decrease) during the same period in 2019. There was a 7.7% decrease in reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage with 523 such reports being made compared to 567 the previous year.
Officers attended a number of incidents, including reports damage had been caused to vehicles and houses in the Maghull area. On arrival, a group of youths threw stones at the police vehicle, before making off in the direction of the King George playing fields. A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
At around 7.30pm, officers were called to Aintree Retail Park following reports a delivery driver had been assaulted by a group of youths, who then made off with his moped. Officers attended and a short time later recovered the scooter and arrested two 15-year-old boys and a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of robbery. The victim sustained minor injuries.
Chief Inspector Peter Clark said: “We have seen an overall increase in reports of ASB and criminal damage compared to last year, but this rise is due to the fact that reports of Covid-19 related incidents and breaches largely make up the ASB figures, rather than incidents targeting members of the public.
“Parents and guardians, please keep talking to your children about where they’re going, what they’re doing and who they’re with when they leave the house. We know the Halloween period has looked a lot different this year, and understand the disappointment and frustration felt by many about having plans cancelled and not being able to spend time with loved ones, but it’s crucial that we continue to follow the guidance now so that we can reunite soon.”