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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Zero tolerance of Halloween pranks
Pumpkin face generic
Police receive more calls during Halloween
Police have launched a crackdown on Halloween pranksters after three boys - one believed to be as young as six - stole from a 91-year-old woman.

Money was taken from the pensioner in Garden City, Deeside, after she invited the youngsters into her home.

Extra village patrols
Bradley
Summerhill
Gwersyllt

Detective Inspector John Rowlands from North Wales Police said the woman had believed the trio were trick-or-treaters.

"The youngsters went to the address on Monday and were all wearing Halloween masks," he said.

After one boy went into the bathroom to use the toilet, the lady asked them to leave and later found her handbag was missing.

They made off with an undisclosed amount of money from the pensioner.

The burglary coincides with a zero tolerance campaign by North Wales Police to cut down on anti-social behaviour during Halloween festivities.

Police officer and youth generic
Police will stop and question youths

The initiative, named Operation Quaver, was put into action following complaints from residents living in Gwersyllt near Wrexham.

In the weeks preceding Halloween, calls to the police regarding youths engaging in anti-social behaviour dramatically increase, according to officers.

Police say that knocking doors and running away, as well as throwing flour and eggs at people's property, have become a traditional part of Halloween.

Starting from Wednesday evening, extra police will patrol the streets of Gwersyllt and surrounding areas.

Anti-social behaviour

They have been briefed to take a no-nonsense approach to any youths found causing trouble in the area.

Police constable Wayne Cronin-Wojdat, who is heading the campaign, said Halloween can be an upsetting time for people.

"It causes particular concern to people in the community, particularly the elderly," he said.

He said local schools have been drafted in to help reduce the problems this year.

"Prior to the operation taking place, every school in the Gwersyllt area has received a letter from the police explaining the problems of anti-social behaviour and how it's associated with Halloween," he said.

"The schools have addressed the issues in assembly and in newsletters to parents," he said.

Officers have urged people to remain vigilant throughout Halloween and to look after any elderly neighbours.


More from north east Wales
See also:

22 Oct 02 | England
31 Oct 01 | Americas
31 Oct 97 | UK
31 Oct 01 | Wales
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