October is Crime Prevention Month and Halloween is a good opportunity to raise awareness. Although children see Halloween as being fun, it is also a time and serves as a setting for the perfect crime. Across the United States crime rates spike on Halloween to more than 50% of the norm.
To reduce risks of being robbed or assaulted, many states ban anyone over the age of 16 from wearing a mask. In some states, like New York, registered sex offenders must stay inside their homes starting at 3:00pm on Halloween until 6:00am the following morning. Police officers also make random phone calls to confirm that the offender is inside their home and has not encountered any trick-or-treaters.
Many people believe that the spike in crime is related to an increase of alcohol consumption on Halloween, but Americans drink more on almost every other holiday than they do on Halloween. Police discourage driving after dusk to avoid any drunk drivers and will have many DUI checkpoints set up.
Halloween is a night for treats as well as tricks. It’s important to emphasize to your children that some tricks can be fun, but others can cause injury or destroy property. Before allowing older kids to go out with their friends, go over where they plan to go, what they plan to do, and when they should return home. Younger children should never be out alone, make sure they go with older siblings or an adult. Check out last week’s blog for Trick-or-Treating safety tips.