Police are warning people not to take matters into their own hands following reports of people dressed as “killer clowns” in Bristol.
People have been dressing up in creepy clown masks and hiding in public places in an attempt to scare the public. The phenomenon originated as a prank in the US.
Reports on social media say that some of the sinister clowns have been wielding knives and BB guns.
There have been sightings across Bristol and Somerset including in Charlton Hayes, Bradley Stoke, Stapleton, Brent Knoll, Keynsham and Winterbourne.
The police received several reports of people dressed as the clowns who were behaving in an ‘anti-social and threatening manner’ and have urged the public to report any sightings or behaviour that they are worried about.
In a statement released by Avon and Somerset Police, inspector Julie Knight warned: “Anyone involved in intimidating or threatening behaviour may end up committing an offence, being arrested and having a criminal record and we’d urge them to think carefully about the consequences of their actions.”
The craze has attracted a following by local people on social media with many reports of sightings in the past week. The police have asked people to refrain from taking matters into their own hands.
“No need to panic”
Shops selling clown masks say they haven’t seen a rise in sales due to the craze.
Dave Gaze, owner of Chaplin’s fancy dress shop in Bristol City Centre said: “I don’t think there is any need to panic. I think it is just a bunch of idiots who have just decided to use clown outfits as a disguise when trying to intimidate people. They could’ve just as readily used something else.”
“Clowns feature every year because people try to imitate the Pennywise character in Stephen King’s book and film ‘It’. Some years are more popular than others. It is just this time of year that people dress up stupid for fun but some people have taken it too far this year” said Mr Gaze.
Follow the killer clown craze further:
TomasMalloy published Clown craze: Avon and Somerset police tell people not to take…: Police have asked peo… https://t.co/qYoeFe84lb
— ThisIsSomerset (@ThisIsSomerset) October 10, 2016