Neville Redtape, council leader for Doorstep Confectionery Procurement in Southend, explained the new policy in an EXCLUSIVE interview with Southend News Network.
He said: ‘We have had a problem in recent years with local residents coming into contact with children and adults that are not CRB checked, or is it DBS now? Oh well whatever it is bloody called this week.’
He continued: ‘Once the application has been made for each license, we will then begin the process of getting a criminal record search done for the individual – younger applicants between 18 months and 16 years old will need a character reference from at least three adults in good standing within the local community.’
‘Once everything is in order, a Provisional Doorstep Confectionery Procurement (PDCP) license will be issued, and this can then be exchanged for a full DCP permit after attending the training sessions and passing the final theory and practical examinations.’
At this point, we asked Mr Redtape how the council could justify charging (as an example) £150 in licensing fees for a parent and two children to go Trick or Treating.
He replied: ‘Although the costs may be significant for local families, individuals should remember that a DCP permit is a clear sign that the Trick or Treater has completed the necessary training – our research has shown that DCP permit holders receive 10%-20% more chocolate, and many households will only give out Revels and premium Haribo products when the DCP logo is clearly visible.’
‘People should also bear in mind that DCP permits last for 12 months from the date of issue. This means that the holder can go Trick or Treating all year long without fear of arrest or life imprisonment.’
Throughout the last week of October and the first week of November, council officials have also confirmed that a fleet of 25 DCP CCTV Enforcement Vehicles will patrol the streets of Southend to catch those who are Trick or Treating without the necessary permits.
Spot fines of up to £5000 will be handed out to offenders, and local police will have the power to seize any products that have been obtained from households illegally.