SHOPKEEPERS in Epping Forest are being urged not to sell flour and eggs to young people, as the emergency services brace themselves for Halloween this Saturday (October 31).

Police, fire crews and ambulance staff insist they do not want to "spoil people's fun", but said such action is necessary to help ease the strain on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year for the authorities.

Along with a series of events to distract young people from getting up to mischief, crews have been visiting schools to give advice and warnings about Halloween and fireworks night.

Youngsters have also been urged to log on to website to find out about how trick or treating can intimidate other members of the community.

Inspector Kevin Whipps, of Essex Police, said: “We want the whole community to feel safe in the lead up to and on Halloween night.

"We are not interested in spoiling people’s fun but Halloween should not be an excuse for anti-social behaviour. We will deal firmly with those who seek to cause misery.

“Young people should take care if they decide to go trick or treating.

"For everyone else, I would say please be tolerant of young people at this time of year but you do not have to accept bad behaviour and we would urge you to call police if you are concerned.”