Thanks to a new law passed in Missouri this year, sexual predators will no longer be allowed to participate in Halloween activities, thus preventing them from coming into contact with children as they traverse through neighborhoods enjoying the age old tradition of “trick or treat.”

Thanks to a new law passed in Missouri this year, sexual predators will no longer be allowed to participate in Halloween activities, thus preventing them from coming into contact with children as they traverse through neighborhoods enjoying the age old tradition of “trick or treat.”

The law known as SB 714 went into effect on Aug. 28 and demands any person who is required to register as a sex offender must avoid specific Halloween activities on Oct. 31 of each year to protect children from individuals who are convicted sex offenders. 

To ensure that each supervised registered sex offender understands what is required, the Missouri Department of Corrections Probation and Parole offices are requiring each sex offender to sign a “standardized directive” in accordance with Missouri statute 589.426 that includes the following information:

Avoid all Halloween-related contact with children; Remain inside his or her residence between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to, employment or medical emergencies; Post a sign at his or her residence stating, “no candy or treats at this residence”; and Leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5 p.m.


If the supervised registered sex offender fails to comply with the directives, the Missouri Department of Corrections will consider revocation of the offender's probation or parole.  In case of a revocation the offender could be sent back to prison or jailed.  

Independence police will make contact with registered sex offenders throughout the evening of Oct. 31 to insure compliance with the law.  If a violation is found, police officers will file class A misdemeanor charge with the State of Missouri.

The Independence Police Department wishes to remind parents and guardians that they are the first and last line of defense for all children. 

When children go out in costume for Halloween they must be accompanied by an adult. Older children who are out need to know how to reach a parent or guardian and they need to know when to be home.  A planned route needs to be known so if the child does not show up on time the parent knows where to look. 

Children must know to bring all candy home for inspection before eating it.  All costumes need to have reflective material for the child's safety.  Children must know not to approach houses that are not lit, and children must never go anywhere alone.

Please make this Halloween a safe and enjoyable time for your children.  The Independence Police will be vigilant, but it takes the whole community working together in partnership to make the difference.