Saturday 16 December 2017

Police not clowning around

Norfolk Police have told the public to ignore people dressed as clowns after a series of sightings
Norfolk Police have told the public to ignore people dressed as clowns after a series of sightings

A police force has told members of the public to ignore people dressed as clowns if they meet them in the street.

Norfolk Police received a report from a member of the public alarmed by a clown sighting in Gaywood, near King's Lynn, on Tuesday evening.

The person responsible was described as wearing a "full clown outfit" with a red suit and red hair.

The following evening the force received a similar report after two clowns were spotted near a skate park in the town. These people wore "Halloween-type" clown masks.

In both cases, the callers reported being alarmed and being chased a short way up the road.

It follows recent reports of the circus characters scaring members of the public in Northampton.

Superintendent Carl Edwards said no one had been injured or assaulted.

He added that it seemed whoever was behind the bizarre sightings was probably trying to shock people and it was best not to give them the attention.

Officers would patrol areas where the reports had been made and, if they found any clowns, they would "offer them strong words of advice", he said.

"Firstly I'd like to stress that it isn't against the law to dress up as a clown," Mr Edwards added.

"Nobody has been assaulted and it appears that the people involved are waiting for a passer-by to be startled by their appearance and run away, and then the clown runs after them for a short distance.

"We know there has been a lot of gossip and conversations about this on social media channels, not just in Norfolk, and it is important to gain a perspective on these incidents.

"We appreciate this can worry people, especially the young or elderly. The most effective way to behave if you are to see someone dressed up is to give no reaction - because that's what they are after."

Press Association

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