Hallowe'en is a time for fancy dress, fun and festivities but police are reminding residents that some people may find this time of year intimidating.

Dorset Police is urging those celebrating this October to respect others to make sure Hallowe'en is a happy and safe time for everyone.

A statement from Dorset Police said: "If you are going trick or treating this Hallowe'en we want you to have fun and be safe, but remember, not everyone wants you to call at their home."

They are encouraging members of the public who do not want to be bothered by trick-or-treaters to download and print a poster available on the Dorset Police website and place it on the front door or in the window of their home.

A poster is also available for retailers, focusing on the sale of flour and eggs.

Bob Bunney, from the Prevention Department, said: “In recent years we’ve seen an increase in the number of people participating in Halloween fun.

“We’d say to anyone who’s going trick-or-treating to think about other people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, as they may get worried if strangers are continually calling at the door during the evening.

“We don’t want to discourage anyone or spoil anyone’s fun, but we’d ask people not to call at homes displaying the poster.”

According to Dorset Police, anti-social behaviour over the Halloween period has been declining in the county since 2014 and they are asking the public to help keep these statistics down.

To have fun and stay safe this Hallowe'en, Dorset Police have issued the following advice:

n. Children should always be accompanied by an adult when they are trick-or-treating.

n. Only go to houses of people you know and who are happy for you to call.

n. Stay safe, keep to places that you know and are well lit. Do not take short cuts through gardens, alleyways or parks.

n. Watch out for traffic - drivers might not see you.

n. Carry a torch and a fully charged mobile phone if you have one.

For more information and to download posters for homes and businesses, visit www.dorset.police.uk/Halloween.