THE West Belfast Community Safety Partnership (WBCSP) has urged local people to stay safe around fireworks at the launch of a programme of family events for West Belfast over Halloween.

Events include a special ‘Spooktacular’ at Whiterock Leisure Centre on Sunday, October 30, which includes a walk around the Falls Park with fire-breathers, stilt-walkers and zombies, followed by a fireworks display Halloween Ball at the centre. And on Saturday, October 29, local young people are being urged to take part in a flash mob ‘Zombie Walk’ at the Kennedy Centre at 4pm, with a prize for the best Zombie costume.

Representatives from the Fire Service and the PSNI were also on hand at the launch to highlight the need for people to use caution around fireworks.  Police patrols in West Belfast will be increased over the Halloween period and the service has warned that anyone acting anti-socially or causing damage over Halloween will face arrest, a criminal record and the confiscation of fireworks if they are found to be under-18.

“Coming up to key dates throughout the year we put in place a multi-agency approach to ensure that everyone stays safe while having fun,” said Chrissie Mac Siacais from the WBCSP. “These events are put in place to make sure families and young people enjoy Halloween but also keep in mind to stay safe, especially around fireworks. We would also urge people to be vigilant of their elderly neighbours and check up on them regularly.”

For more information on firework safety and details on family events across West Belfast over Halloween, look out for next week’s edition of the Andersonstown News.

n See also editorial on page 20 & page 31