'Killer clown' craze sparks police warning

A man dressed as a clown "wearing a hockey mask and a blood-stained poncho" was captured on camera in Greater Manchester

More sightings as killer clown craze grips UK

Police have given further warnings about the potential consequences of the "killer clowns" craze that is sweeping Britain.

South Wales Police said it had received a number of reports in recent days about people dressed as clowns acting suspiciously and frightening members of the public.

A police spokesman said: "We have received a small number of similar reports locally and would like to remind people that this behaviour can cause concern and worry, particularly to young children and the elderly, and they may end up committing an offence."

The "clown craze", also known as "killer clown", appears to have been inspired by clown-related pranks in the US and has seen a string of copycat incidents across the country.

Gloucestershire Police said it had received six reports of incidents happening in Gloucester and warned of the consequences if perpetrators were caught.

A masked man carrying a knife left a group of children aged 11 and 12 "upset and distressed" when he jumped out on their way to the Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at 8.40am on Friday.

While in Suffolk, a boy "younger than a teenager" was chased by "several people dressed as clowns" in Beatty Road, Sudbury, at 8pm on Thursday, Suffolk Police said.

Tom Jackson, 18, a first-year student at Leeds Beckett University, said he was "very scared" when he saw a man dressed as a clown near an underpass in Leeds at 4.30am on Friday.

A man dressed as a clown "wearing a hockey mask and a blood-stained poncho" was captured on camera in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, on Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, Northumbria Police issued an appeal and warning after a series of incidents in Newcastle involving people dressed as clowns jumping out and scaring schoolchildren.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested in the Blakelaw area of the city following reports of someone dressed as a clown attempting to scare passers-by.

In Essex, two Clacton County High School schoolgirls were approached by two people dressed as clowns who asked them if they wanted to attend a birthday party at 9.20am on Tuesday.

While others have mostly escaped unharmed from the "frightening" incidents, police are warning potential offenders they still may be committing a Public Order Offence.

People on social media have also reported clown sightings in Cheshire, North Wales, Dundee, Norwich, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

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