Stevenage man told by police to ‘tone down’ Halloween decorations after complaint

James Creighton has been told by police to tone down his Halloween decorations outside his house in

James Creighton has been told by police to tone down his Halloween decorations outside his house in Grove Road, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

A man who has decorated his house for Halloween every year to raise money for charity in memory of his nan has been told by police to ‘tone down’ the display as it is upsetting a parent’s children.

The annual display raises money for Cancer Research UK

The annual display raises money for Cancer Research UK - Credit: Archant

Two police officers visited James Creighton’s home in Grove Road, Stevenage, on Tuesday asking him to cover up a Halloween display which he has been putting together outside the front of his house since the start of the month to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

The 25-year-old has put up Halloween decorations every year since the death of his grandmother Betty from cancer in 2009.

“When the police turned up I don’t think they knew what to say,” said Mr Creighton. “They told me there had been a complaint and that I needed to ‘tone it down’ by taking some decorations down. I’m told someone walks by with young children and they are crying every time they see it.

“The police told me they want me to put a black tarpaulin across the bottom of the fence so children can’t see it, but it spoils it for everyone else then. It’s not something I want to do to be honest.

“I will admit some of the things I’ve added to the house this year are quite gory, but that’s the point of Halloween. I always get young children saying ‘mummy look at that house’ and everyone seems to love it.

“I’m sure if the parent had come and spoken to me we could have come to a compromise, and I don’t know why they felt the need to go to the police about it. It’s so ridiculous it’s almost funny.”

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Last year Mr Creighton’s display raised £1,150 for Cancer Research UK through public donations, and this year’s effort, with the theme based around film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, currently totalling more than £700.

“I’ve been doing it for quite a few years and I’ve got a big Cancer Research UK banner outside so everyone knows what it’s for,” he added.

“I’ve always loved Halloween, and decorating the house was something that my nan and mum did for me when I was younger, so now I’m carrying it on in my nan’s memory.”

A police spokesman said: “We have visited a resident of Grove Road in Stevenage concerning a Halloween display in his garden, following a complaint from a member of the public. We have made him aware of the complaint and have offered words of advice to the resident.”

• To make a donation to the cause, visit the house in Grove Road or click on the link at the top right of the page.

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