Kids’ safety top priority for cops on Halloween

Making sure costumed trick-or-treaters haunting streets are safe will be the priority for Saanich police officers Monday night.

Making sure costumed trick-or-treaters haunting streets are safe will be the priority for Saanich police officers Monday night.

With Halloween falling on a school night, a slightly quieter evening is expected than if it were a weekend, Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

“Our focus will shift as the evening wears on. First and foremost, it’s on traffic, speed and impaired driving-related issues. Then, as it gets on into the evening, we’re dealing with open alcohol and public drunkenness, and then, as we get to midnight, 1 a.m., we’re going to house parties and shutting them down,” he said.

For the safety of children and families out trick-or-treating, parents are reminded to dress their kids appropriately: in bright colours, or wearing reflective clothing and carrying glow sticks. Make sure costumes aren’t a tripping hazard and that masks don’t impede vision or breathing, Jantzen said.

“Rather than running crossways across the street going house to house, move continuously along the block then cross at a safe location to go back to do the other side of the street,” he said.

When Halloween is on a weekday night, Saanich police expect to deal with complaints about nuisance issues, such as noise and the discharge of fireworks.

Jantzen reminds residents that there is a fireworks ban in effect in the municipality, and the noise bylaw is in effect 24-7. Both can result in fines.

Halloween party hosts are asked to ensure their guests have safe ways home if alcohol is being consumed.

“Our objective is to make sure everybody has a great time and does so in a safe, respectful manner,” Jantzen said. “We’ll deem it successful if there are no significant injuries or accidents and everybody gets home safely.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com