For the Homeless Hearts

Young Reporter: Don’t get spooked by festival celebrations

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Saturday, October 13, 2012
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By Boneata Bell

IS HALLOWEEN a trick, or a treat? The annual event is approaching, resulting in much excitement across the country, (and even across the world).
This October we will see the celebration of Halloween and the smiles that will grace the faces of many children. Sadly, too, however, the damage to properties and vehicles that accompany these celebrations.
There is a 150 per cent rise in house damage during the week between Halloween and Bonfire Night, according to ten years of statistics from insurance company Aviva.
The reason for this? Darker nights and evening entertainment make it much easier for criminals to work in the shadows of the occasion.
So, not surprisingly, Halloween and other festivals give way to many stereotyping opportunities and that is where I come in.
To wrongly accuse can carry dramatic and devastating consequences.
Before making any accusation, make sure that you first have adequate evidence. To stereotype can have a devastating affect, it can sometimes spread a trail of false information, but it can even lead to the innocently accused becoming the offender.
Retaliation, we are all guilty of it. Not every young person celebrating the festival will want to disturb you as you suspect.
It seems that the number of people celebrating annual events is rapidly decreasing; it also appears that the number of houses displaying Halloween pumpkins and Christmas lights has become smaller and smaller as each year has passed.
This is a shame as the community could use it as an opportunity to come together, and delight in festive cheer.
Europe is the place in which Halloween originated. It then travelled to America with immigrants and then returned back to Europe.
For some, Halloween is an important tradition and I believe that this event helps significantly to make the life of a child magic.
In today’s world we are lacking magic, cinema movies may bring light to a child’s life, as may fairy tales and nursery rhymes – but what about the memory of an actual event? It is exciting for a child to be up passed their bedtime!
It is becoming apparent that stereotypes affect everybody. They affect the victim, just as much as they affect the accuser. Will you avoid taking your child trick or treating because you are assuming that a “gang” will cause a nuisance to you and your child? This is affecting their life and yours. A violent and unnecessary circle of hatred and assumption can occur.
This Halloween I encourage people to enjoy the magic of a festival, without worrying about “the group of youths” celebrating across the road.
What people forget is that not everybody is the same.
Operation Kincorth takes place every year, it involves a partnership between numerous organisations some including: Humber Fire And Rescue service, Humberside Police and Young Peoples Support Service.
They tackle many problems in the area, between October 30 and November 6.
Steps are being taken to prevent the behaviour of individuals, so the next step is you, and what you can do. Since the beginning of the operation, there has been a 51 per cent decrease in criminal damage, 100 per cent reduction of attacks on fire fighters and an amazing saving figure of £261,119 on crime cost.
Police all over the country face a sharp rise in anti-social behavior during festivals – this comes as no surprise as many people take the opportunity to drink, and to socialise. Yet, it will not be me getting drunk, so will it be you?
Furthermore we cannot, and we should not categorise bad behaviour because it is a stereotype that becomes unfairly a label, very quickly.
As a young adult myself, I do not want to be feared or hated because I am “young” and simply that. I would never vandalise or harm anybody and I believe that I speak for the majority of people my age, and likely the majority of people of any age.
Blame spreads quickly; blame can be a rumour, a stereotype.
Blame can ruin lives. Be careful as you judge. Happy Halloween!

This article was origionally written and edited by Boneata Bell with YPSS (Young People's Support Service). It was then published by the Grimsby Telegraph. It is available in the newspaper or online at http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/Young-Reporter-Don-8217-t-spooked-festival/story-17078874-detail/story.html

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