English society has been infiltrated by American entertainment, music and even a commercialized version of their own Celtic “All Hallows Even.” Indeed it seems that the British prefer the sugary, ghoulish, dressed up version that is so popular in the United States. In celebration Londoners flock the streets to attend house parties, discos or whatever other event would give them an excuse to drink while in costume.
While it seems they’ve got all of the “treat” right I was curious to see how they fared on the “trick” part of the equation. Do they also throw eggs at stingy candy givers? Do they shaving cream cars in the streets? Do they toilet paper the unpopular high school teacher’s house? In the States, police deal with these nuisances and other more serious crimes every October 31.
In England, the eggs and toilet paper haven’t crossed the Atlantic. Rather, a new twist on the old favorite of Halloween crime has appeared in the UK. In response, London Metropolitan Police have worked with Transport for London to create highly patrolled transport called Safe Bus on Halloween and Bonfire Night (5 November). Police normally see a 20 per cent increase in crime on London buses on these nights.
Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at Transport for London, said: “While crime on London’s buses is at its lowest level for six years, we know that the period around Halloween and Bonfire Nights sees an increase in crime and disorder. This is why we are supporting the MPS Safer Transport Command with this operation, which aims to reassure passengers, deter criminal activity and crackdown on anti-social behavior.”
And what is their weapon of choice? Authorities also contribute Stop Bus for helping prevent knife related incidents on buses throughout London. They use visible policing on public transport, weapon sweeps and search arches.
Like curry and tea, it seems the British have integrated another aspect of foreign culture and made it its own.