Clown around – and you could be arrested for harassment.
That’s the message from police after a rise in the number of calls over the ‘creepy clown’ craze that has swept America – and has now arrived in the UK.
We would like people to think carefully before they consider taking part in this sort of activity and think how their actions could affect other people
The fad involves people dressing as scary clowns and terrifying children and adults alike.
But after an increase in calls about the issue, Lancashire Police say they will take action if anyone is distressed.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We are currently receiving an increase in enquiries in relation to information being shared on social media regarding clowns and people being chased.
“We are aware that what seems to be a trend that has come over from America is currently circulating around social media and that there have been various reported incidents around the UK.
“Lancashire Police would like to make it perfectly clear that reports of anyone behaving in this way, regardless of their intentions, will be taken seriously.
“This type of action could cause alarm or distress and could be deemed as harassment and subsequently dealt with as a criminal offence.
“We would like people to think carefully before they consider taking part in this sort of activity and think how their actions could affect other people.”
The craze has swept America with videos online showing staged clown ‘attacks’ that terrify those nearby. However, in recent days, there have been reports of American folk fighting back with one clown-clad man beaten up on with a baseball bat on Thursday after attempting to scare a car full of people.
In response to the Lancashire Police warning on Facebook, Danielle Danidoll Matthews wrote: “There was a bunch of teenagers on Milton Street scaring my daughter and her friends in a mask, they even cornered them in the basketball thingy and wouldn’t let them move, they were really shaken up in floods of tears. Please can you get someone to patrol that area.”
And Lois Lawton said: “Thanks for update. I’ve had to soothe my nine-year-old daughter to sleep tonight after she got told about them today . Absolutely scared stiff she was and as a parent not being able to tell her what she wants to hear broke my heart. I urge people to think before doing this sort of daft act. Not only think of the children but also the elderly and the ones who have fears of clowns.”