07:03 GMT02 April 2020
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    The well-established tradition of doing misdeeds the evening before Halloween has turned into a nightmare for many communities, wracking the nerves of police and emergency services. Teenagers smash and overturn cars, throw bricks and fireworks at people and set trash bins on fire.

    Police have got hundreds of reports of nasty incidents in English cities and towns during so-called Mischief Night, a time-honored tradition in Yorkshire and Liverpool as well as certain states in the US.

    Its observance dates from as far back as the 1700s, when many communities suspended laws for several hours to let people play tricks on each other in a less deadly precursor to the plot of "The Purge".

    READ MORE:  London Commuter Slammed as 'Racist' for Wearing 'Blackface' Halloween Costume

    According to Merseyside Police in the UK, more than 450 cases of anti-social behavior and vandalism were reported this week. Additionally, law enforcement received 1,760 calls and made 15 arrests for different kinds of low-level offenses.

    The list of reported incidents included 12 counts of arson involving trash bins.

    ​In Fazakerley, a woman was hospitalized after someone threw a brick at a bus. Similar incidents occurred in Birkenhead, where youths threw stones at a bus, and in the Teeside community of Wirral, where vandals smashed cars.

    In Skelmersdale, Ormskirk, and Tarleton fireworks were thrown at police, while in Leeds a blind woman was targeted in the same attack.
    Police are encouraging parents to speak to their children, as criminal mischief is often the work of teenagers.

    ​October 30 keeps British police busy because of a custom dating back to the 18th-century tradition of Lawless Hours and Days. Back then, regular laws were lifted for some time so people could play tricks on one another. However, while in those days people may have thrown cabbages at one another, the intensity of the lawlessness has escalated to vandalism and anti-social behavior in recent years.

    The next time UK police must deal with an inordinate number of vandals and arsonists is the night before Bonfire Night, which some people also consider Mischief Night.


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    arson attacks, anti-social, vandalism, police, Mischief Night, England, United Kingdom
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