Liverpool landlords told not to eject trick or treating kids at Hallowe'en
Pub landlords were warned they could face criminal charges if they forcibly kick out trick or treating kids invading their premises in the run-up to Hallowe’en.
They were told they must contact the police if any youngsters enter their pubs and could face “serious implications” if they attempt to throw them out.
The warning follows past “Mischief Night” incidents in which children were “forcibly ejected” from bars while collecting money for Hallowe’en, a letter to all city centre bars from Liverpool council’s children’s safeguarding licensing unit stated.
Landlords were informed they should call the police if an incident arises – but they today told the ECHO they felt powerless to deal with the problem themselves.
They said they were torn between having to bother the police, who would already be busy dealing with Mischief Night incidents, or pay for door staff to stop youngsters getting in in the first place.
The letter warned: “If you become aware of any child entering your premises approaching adults for money, you should contact the police at the time.
“You should advise your staff, and customers if necessary, against forcibly ejecting or physically restraining any child, as this could result in harm to the child and result in the police investigating offences against the child.
“This in turn could have serious implications for any individuals subject to such investigation and any premises on which offences against children might occur.”
Landlords around the Mathew Street, Victoria Street and Dale Street areas told the ECHO they endured “hell” in previous years from children causing havoc in their pubs – and often children’s parents were involved.
One landlady, who asked not to be named, said: “It is the parents who need locking up.
“The kids come in asking people for money and when you ask them to leave, they leg it round the Pub
giving V-signs. When you get outside, you find their mums there, tipping all the money the kids get into buckets.”
Another said: “I would end up having to pay £10 an hour for doorstaff if I wanted to stop them getting in.
“There is a particular family which drops the kids off at the bottom of Mathew Street and they cause chaos.
“You will be chasing one of them and the other runs behind the bar and starts taking stuff. There is nothing you can do.”
A council spokesman said the advice was consistent with guidance issued in previous years.
He added: “Our advice is if a child refuses to leave on request, they should call the police.”
Inspector Claire Richards, of Merseyside police, said: “It will be a minority of young people and their parents doing this. We have an anti-social behaviour contract with local authorities and can take action against both parents and children.
“If licensees are having a problem with young people, they should phone us on 999 only in an emergency, otherwise phone 0151-709 6010.” THE ECHO