The American holiday of Halloween will take place tonight, Friday. While in most areas the holiday is celebrated by children dressing up in costumes and receiving candy, in Crown Heights many hoodlums have customarily celebrated the occasion by throwing eggs at and attacking Jewish residents on the streets of the neighborhood. In light of this situation, Shomrim has released a detailed PSA on what steps should be taken to remain safe throughout the ‘holiday’:
This coming Friday night our non-Jewish neighbors will celebrate Halloween. For some people, this day is associated with vandalism and disorderly behavior, which often times ends up in serious crimes such as assault.
In the past years, Shomrim maintained a strong presence in the neighborhood with marked and unmarked vehicles, and succeeded in deterring crime to a large degree. But due to Halloween falling out on a Friday night, it will limit our ability to effectively patrol the neighborhood as in past years and deter any would-be criminals.
Shomrim has consulted with its Halachic authorities for specific guidance for this night. Shomrim will also be in direct contact with the NYPD if needed. Please read the following instructions to be better prepared for this night.
1. Try to walk with a group; there is safety in numbers.
2. Kids and specifically young teenage girls should not be walking around alone or even in a small group without adult supervision.
3. If you see something, say something. This can include a single person acting very erratic and possibly dangerous, or a group of any size being wild and dangerous, including but not limited to vandalizing property – for it may escalate and result in a physical assault on an unassuming individual.
4. Shomrim will maintain a small foot patrol on Friday night, but due to constraints we will rely on the community to inform us of any dangerous or potentially dangerous condition.
5. There will also be increased NYPD presence in the neighborhood on Friday night. If you see a suspicious or dangerous situation, there is a good chance there will be a NYPD officer or NYPD cruiser in the vicinity; please flag them down and notify them.
6. Please take your safety and the safety of others seriously, and may we have a happy and safe Shabbos!
If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to call the Shomrim hotline at (718) 774-3333