HOW TO STAY SAFE THIS HALLOWEEN
Tips to Stay Safe, Avoid Theft on Halloween
A New York Post analysis of crime reports over the past five Halloweens showed that certain types of crime surge on October 31. Pick-pockets, harassment and assault all increase on Halloween, as the NYPD logged 1,413 crime reports on the day in 2018, which is 14 percent more than the 1,241 crimes reported on the average day in 2018.
Data from The Travelers Companies showed 24 percent more crime-related insurance claims on Halloween than on the average day in 2016. Theft, inside and outside the home, and vandalism are the top two reasons for filed claims. Halloween-type pranks such as “egging” or “tee-peeing” houses may cause more damage than one thinks. The number of claims for damage to automobiles also increases, due to the number of people on the street, who can often behave recklessly.
Dont' Take Any Chances.
Many people assume that there is less of a chance of crime since so many people are out on the streets during trick-or-treating hours. However, this may actually have the opposite effect. Due to the nature of the holiday, anyone dressed in a costume (or disguise) can walk up to any door seemingly looking for treats, and it will not raise any eyebrows.
According to a poll by the National Retail Federation, the average person is predicted to spend $86 on Halloween this year, making the total predicted national spending $8.8 billion. The amount of spending gives criminals more to choose from, as they look to take anything of value on the property, such as candy, decorations, bikes, yard equipment and more.
Here are some tips on how to make sure you are not affected by the surge in crime on Halloween:
- If you will not be home during trick-or-treating hours, leave some lights on inside your home. A dark house with candy on the porch is a sure sign of an empty house, and criminals will take advantage.
- Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your property, or even form a neighborhood watch initiative (some neighborhoods have called this the “Witch Watch”).
- DO NOT leave a key under your welcome mat or in a flower pot on your porch, as thieves may know to look for that, granting them easy access into your home.
- Park your car in a garage if you have one. If not, be sure to remove any valuables and lock the doors. Enabling your car alarm is another precautionary step to take to ensure the safety of your valuables.
Safe Kids Worldwide reports that twice as many children are killed while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year. To keep kids safe, be sure to:
- Put reflective material on your child’s costume, or have them carry glow sticks. Avoid masks and long capes/dresses, as these may impair vision and increase tripping.
- Use crosswalks when possible, and walk on the right side of the road facing traffic.
- If your kids are going out alone, remind them to avoid running. On a day of scares, children may like to hide and jump out to scare their friends, but usually do not consider that drivers will not see them hiding either.