No tricking Holloway shops at Halloween

Freightliner’s Farm’s workshop shows that Halloween can be family orientated

Shops in Holloway are working with Islington authorities to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour over Halloween and bonfire night.

Islington council, the police, and the London Fire Brigade have already increased their presence in the area, including additional patrols by Safer Neighbourhood Teams and extra staff guarding Islington’s parks.

Test purchases and safety checks of off licences and convenience stores have also been undertaken by the council’s Trading Standards team, ensuring fireworks and prank goods – like eggs and flour – are not sold to under-18s.

The owner of the McKenzie’s store on McKenzie Road, who did not want to be named, said: “We used to sell fireworks a few years ago but since they [local kids] started getting them and putting firecrackers on old peoples’ doorsteps, we said ‘no’. We don’t want to hurt old people.

“Local kids come in and try to buy that stuff [eggs and flour], saying their mum needs a couple of packets. We ask them for their parents’ numbers, and they run off. We used to get hassle but we fight back, they don’t try it any more.”

Another shop owner, Mr Manani, added: “It’s an old cliché, really. It isn’t much of a problem, but we’ve stopped selling those items one week either side of Halloween, just as a way to reassure elderly customers.”

The Council’s executive member for community safety, Cllr Paul Convery, said: “We’re on the side of residents and taking action against anti-social behaviour over Halloween and Bonfire Night.”

Other volunteer organisations are doing their bit to stop anti-social behaviour before it starts. Freightliners Farm, near Holloway’s Paradise Park, ran a Halloween pumpkin-carving event designed to make kids aware that the 31 October can also be a family night.

Julia Taylor, who runs the co-operative city farm, said it was good that kids get a chance to experience the farm, if only to “keep them out of trouble”.

She said: “We have kids of all ages come here from 13 upwards.

“It gets them off the street and in here to help out.”