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A fifth 'back trick or treat ban'

One in five people would support a ban on trick or treating this year in light of the recent riots in cities across England, according to a survey.

Some 22% took the view that the tradition should not take place this year, while 50% would introduce mandatory parental accompaniment.

The findings, from research commissioned by Santander Insurance, show 43% of people would support a ban on people wearing masks that obscure the face over Halloween, and one in three (31%) a ban on people wearing hooded tops.

Some 38% would support the introduction of curfews for groups of youths at this time of year.

A spokeswoman for Santander said support for these measures was driven not only by people's experiences of the riots, but also past experience of being victims in the Halloween to Bonfire Night period, dubbed "mischief week".

The research shows that one in four adults (24%) has suffered damage to their home during this period, facing an average of over £232 in repair fees, or a collective £2.65 billion. One in eight adults (12%) has suffered damage from eggs being thrown at or in their home and 6% have had garden plants, ornaments or fences damaged.

More than 1.6 million people, around 3%, have been victims of theft either inside or outside the home during this period, and 2% have had windows broken.

Over 1.4 million people have had their property damaged by sparklers or stray fireworks, and 1.1 million suffered damage from items such as firecrackers or silly string being put through their letterbox.

Some 2% of adults (941,000) have suffered from graffiti on their home during this period, around 460,000 have been attacked by people using fireworks as weapons, and more than 380,000 have suffered arson attacks on their property.

Andy Smith, head of media relations at Santander, said: "The summer's riots resulted in a huge amount of innocent people becoming victims of crime. Our research would suggest that there is genuine concern about any more criminal damage or anti-social behaviour taking place in the period that surrounds Halloween and bonfire night - a period which many people already find intimidating."


From Belfast Telegraph