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Warning issued to trick or treaters 23 October 2008

Turnip lantern for Hop tu NaaYOUTHS caught throwing eggs, flour or mud at people’s property during the run-up to Hop tu Naa may be handed a bucket and sponge and told to clear up the mess.

Traditional Manx Hop tu Naa celebrations involve children visiting local houses to sing and parade their turnip lanterns. However, an increase in the practice of Halloween trick or treating has resulted in incidents of anti-social behaviour throughout the Island - with the Douglas and Onchan areas worst affected.

Most involve young people throwing eggs, flour or mud bombs at homes or vehicles, causing distress and inconvenience to the owners. Neighbourhood policing teams will again be stepping up patrols in a bid to combat the problem. Shopkeepers are also being asked to keep a close eye on youngsters who attempt to purchase large quantities of eggs or flour.

Inspector Helen Mason of the Eastern Neighbourhood Policing Team said:

‘We want young people to enjoy themselves, but they need to respect the rights of others as well. In partnership with our colleagues at the Douglas NPT, we will be increasing patrols over the next few days and any offences of anti-social behaviour or criminal damage will be robustly dealt with.’

Acting Sergeant Rosie Hawes added:

‘Throwing eggs, flour or mud at people’s property will not be tolerated as it can cause distress – particularly to elderly residents. Anybody caught acting in such an irresponsible manner could find themselves being asked to clean up the mess they have created.’

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