Officials are trying to protect children this Halloween by asking sex offenders to display a poster saying, "no candy at this residence", a warning sign that tells children and parents that there is a sex offender living at that address.
Halloween is a time where many children dress up and go trick-or-treating for sweets. Often this causes a lot of worry for parents who do not want their children to come to harm. After all we teach our children not to accept sweets off strangers, but contradictorily we encourage children on Halloween to ask for sweets from strangers. That is why Berlin have come up with their own solution to help keep children safe.
mdcoastdispatch.com reports that in Berlin when trick-or-treaters scatter on the streets tomorrow knocking from door to door there will be signs warning children not to knock on certain doors.
The signs read, “No Candy at This Residence” and belong to sex offenders who have to display them at their door. Children are being warned not to knock at these doors as these people have a history of child sex abuse.
The signs are decorated with a sneering pumpkin and were sent out to nearly 1,200 registered sex offenders living in Maryland. Sex offenders also received a letter from the state’s Division of Parole and Probation in the state commanding them to remain at home, turn their lights off and not to answer their door.
The letter encourages sex offenders not open the door to children. It explains how it is the sex offender's duty to demonstrate to the community they have changed and through not opening the door they are doing this.
Maryland started sending signs out in the mail in 2005 and have carried on doing this ever since.
In Worcester County alone there are about 80 registered sex offenders.
Maryland wants to raise awareness among residents that sex offenders do live in the area and to keep children safe this Halloween.