AVON and Somerset Police are urging people to help keep their community safe at Hallowe'en.

Most people will enjoy it when the pumpkins are out in force next Thursday (October 31).

But for people who are elderly, vulnerable or live alone, the celebration can be scary.

The result is that they are at a higher risk of becoming victims of crime if they feel isolated or alone.

Police are offering the following advice to help your neighbours feel safe:

•Start by just saying ‘hello'.

•Ask if they would like you to check if they are ok on Hallowe'en with either a visit or a call.

•Ask if they would like you to download and print one of the police ‘sorry, no trick or treaters here’ posters (available on the force website) so they can display it in their window.

•Let neighbours know if you’re planning a party, so they won’t be alarmed.

•Remind children to respect others’ property and not to call on homes that have the ‘sorry, no trick or treaters here’ poster.

Parents are also being asked to talk to their children about the police safety advice for trick or treaters:

•Always go trick or treating with an adult.

•Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents.

•Don’t knock on doors where there is a sign saying ‘no trick or treat here’.

•Stay in areas that are lit with streetlights and take a torch with you just in case.

•Stay with your friends – don’t split into smaller groups unless an adult goes with you.

•Throwing eggs and flour at houses causes criminal damage. You could be arrested.

•Don’t talk to strangers on the street and never enter any house, just stay on the doorstep.

•Although Hallowe'en is supposed to be spooky, be considerate to those who don’t take part and be careful not frighten vulnerable people.

•Remember road safety, always look carefully before crossing the road and be visible.

If you’re a shopkeeper:

•Please remember not to sell eggs or flour to young people and that selling fireworks to under-18s is an offence.

•Download one of our posters for shopkeepers below and display in your store window.