Extra officers will be out and about to tackle yobbish behaviour and ensure Covid-19 regulations are being kept to over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

Police warned anyone found acting in an anti-social way or flouting restrictions to expect a "swift response."

They are anxious to avoid a repeat of what has been seen in previous years, which has seen a string of incidents of youths running riot and causing criminal damage. In some cases, police officers and firefighters have also been attacked.

The Liverpool City Region is currently in the highest Tier 3 level of restrictions, which means the traditional public firework displays are not taking place.

People are also being advised not to hold community bonfires to prevent crowds gathering in breach of current restrictions.

Chief Inspector Peter Clark, who is heading this year's operation for Merseyside Police said: "As you know there are a number of rules and restrictions in place in relation to Covid-19 - that means that the planned displays and events we normally attend, will not be happening this year.

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"We know that this is another sacrifice we are having to make, however now is a time to pull together, follow the guidance and help to stop the spread.

"We are keen to get the balance right between protecting people from the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that they can still enjoy this period.

"We will maintain a common sense approach during the Halloween and Bonfire night period – and are working to encourage people to respect the restrictions and explain why they are so important. Where people are flouting restrictions, we will however take action."

He added: "Our message regarding anti-social behaviour during this period remains simple – it will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of offence will be dealt with firmly and robustly.

"No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time.

"We know the vast majority of young people have respect for other people and their property but we know the behaviour of some can go beyond fun.

"I would urge those young people who may be considering behaving in an unacceptable way to think about what you are doing and how you may make other people feel.

"How would you feel if a member of your own family was too frightened to leave their own home or walk down the street? Under no circumstances is it ok to throw things at people or their homes, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate people."

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Shopkeepers are being urged not to sell any items that can be misused to cause damage, such as eggs, flour and cans of shaving foam as well as ensuring fireworks are not sold to under 18s.

Damage caused by used by Halloween "tricks", such as throwing eggs and flour, or any objects at windows, doors, cars and people is a criminal offence and it is also illegal for those under the age of 18 to buy, carry, or use fireworks. It is also illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place.

Joe Cunliffe, Station Manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: "Deliberately started fires on the run up to bonfire night are a huge drain on already overstretched Fire Service resources.

"What may seem like a bit of harmless fun to some can have life changing consequences and puts entire communities at risk. If firefighters are responding to a wheelie bin fire or illegal bonfire, it prevents them from responding to another incident.

"Already this year, fire crews have been subjected to physical and verbal attacks whilst carrying out their duty. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. All fire engines carry CCTV cameras and footage will be passed on to Merseyside Police."

He added: "Community bonfires must not take place on public land, as this will encourage MFRS will respond to reports of fires and will extinguish them throughout the bonfire period."

To report any combustible material that could be used for deliberate fires, this can be done through the website here, or by calling 0800 731 5958 or via the fire service's social media pages.

To report a crime, always contact 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or @CrimestoppersUK.