Police have warned those taking part in the latest ‘Clown Craze’ risk being arrested.
The craze has swept the country with people dressing up as a clown and scaring members of the public, often at night time.
Chief Inspector Cath Farrin said: “Many of you are no doubt aware of the latest trend of people dressing up as clowns and scaring unsuspecting members of the public. Many carry this out as a harmless prank, but unfortunately it appears that there are occasions where people are trying to cause distress to children; we have even had unsubstantiated reports of one carrying a weapon.
“This is completely unacceptable. Those taking part in these pranks must realise that their actions are causing distress to the public due to the intimidating and threatening nature of their actions.
“Police will investigate these reports and we are taking this very seriously. We will arrest, and we will look to charge those causing distress with public order offences, especially those who appear to be carrying a weapon of any kind.
“I would like people to consider if this prank is worth a criminal record? Those taking part are running the risk of arrest and a court appearance, and therefore could possibly lose their job.
“Those taking part in this ‘Clown Craze’ also need to realise that they are also putting themselves at risk by intimidating people; not all members of the public will run away and you could find yourself confronted by a scared member of public.
“We ask the public to report any suspicious activity to police, and our local neighbourhood teams are committed to stop this before it gets out of hand.”
Please report any suspicious activity to 101, and if you are in immediate danger always call 999.