Calls to police for ghosts and hauntings revealed ahead of Halloween
Police have urged people to think carefully about appropriate use of 101 and 999 after it was revealed some had used the services to report seeing ghosts.
As Halloween approaches, Suffolk police revealed control room staff had received about 40 reports of incidents involving reference to ghosts or hauntings in two years.
Some of the calls were genuine reports of crime or anti-social behaviour, and included descriptions of suspects wearing ghost masks at Halloween.
However, according to Freedom of Information data, no crime was recorded as having taken place in more than two-thirds of cases.
On one occasion last December, a caller had to be advised that police do not deal with ghosts.
Another reported seeing people vanish in front of them in Stowmarket, while one described ghosts having a party in their attic.
Suffolk Constabulary said its website offered guidance for non-urgent enquiries and links to other services.
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A spokesman said: "Time and resources are very valuable to the police and we would urge people to think carefully about when is appropriate to phone us on 101 or in an emergency on 999."
Last Halloween, police increased patrols to highlight safety messages, and urged retailers to restrict flour and egg sales.
Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "Halloween can be great fun, and I don't want to spoil that fun, but it really should not add to the already stretched resources of the constabulary.
"I would ask everyone to be respectful to others, including our police officers and staff.
"Please remember additional calls to the control room - especially when they are not police-related - do have an impact on the service overall.
"If you're planning to go trick-or-treating, also remember that for some, particularly the old and vulnerable, it can be quite a upsetting experience.
"My message to trick-or-treaters is, by all means enjoy yourselves and have fun, but please give some thought to those who don't want to join in. The safest option is to only visit people you know."
Previous data has shown Suffolk police handled almost 20,000 cases related to mental health between 2014 and 2017 - with 61% of all incidents falling under public safety categories, rather than criminal offences.
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