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Newport News Police Department
Tuesday October 19th, 2010 :: 05:54 p.m. EDT




The Newport News Police Department would like to take this opportunity to provide safety information for those children participating in “Trick or Treat” activities as well as other information regarding these activities.

We wish to remind the community that section 28-5 of the Newport News City code, located below, restricts who may participate in “Trick or Treat” activities.

Sec. 28-5. Prohibited trick or treat activities.
(a) If any person beyond the seventh grade of school or over twelve (12) years of age shall engage in the activity commonly known as "trick or treat" or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any parent, guardian or other responsible person having lawfully in his custody a child twelve (12) years old or younger, from accompanying such child who is playing "trick or treat" for the purpose of caring for, looking after or protecting such child. However, no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type.
(b) If any person shall engage in playing "trick or treat" or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
(Ord. No. 1558, § 1; Code 1961, § 25-56; Ord. No. 3663-87)

In addition to those listed below, two sample lists of safety tips accompany this release.
• Children should travel in groups and should be accompanied by an adult who is familiar with the neighborhood and the residents.
• Use a flashlight to light your way and to help others to see you.
• Children should only enter a home if they are with a trusted adult.
• Never go to a home that is not well lit.
• Wear well fitting and highly visible costumes and shoes to avoid trips, falls and blocked vision.
• Eat only factory wrapped treats - Avoid homemade treats – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
• Parents, consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, at churches or in community centers as an alternative to “Trick or Treating”.

At this time the City has no plans to change the day traditionally observed as Halloween.


1. Be sure older children TAKE FRIENDS and younger children are accompanied by a TRUSTED ADULT when “Trick or Treating.”

2. Accompany younger children to the door of every home they approach and make sure parents and guardians are familiar with every home and all people from which the children receive treats.

3. Teach children to NEVER enter a home without prior permission from their parents or guardians.

4. Teach children to NEVER approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they are accompanied by
a parent or guardian.

5. Make sure all children wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick when out at dusk and
at night.

6. Make sure children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using facial masks. All
costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.

7. Teach children to NEVER approach a home that is not well lit both inside and outside.

8. Teach children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents,
guardians, and/or the proper authority.

9. Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell this person is not my father/mother/guardian; and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.

10. Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to “Trick or Treating.”

For more information about child-safety topics, please visit our website or contact us at

Newport News Police Department
9710 Jefferson Ave
Newport News, VA 23605

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 757-928-4100

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