Police issue further warnings over knife-wielding 'killer clowns'

Clowns Credit: PA

Police have issued further warnings over the "killer clown" craze sweeping Britain.

In the latest spate of incidents, Gloucestershire Police said they had received six reports of people dressed as clowns acting suspiciously, wielding knives or following members of the public. In one case a child was followed.

The warning follows an incident on Friday when a knife-wielding masked man jumped out in front of children on their way to school in Durham.

On Thursday a young boy was chased by "several people dressed as clowns" in Sudbury, Suffolk.

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 in the early hours of Friday morning.

While 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.

On Wednesday a masked clown riding a mobility scooter was caught on camera in Sheffield.

Gloucestershire Police said the incidents were not just causing alarm, but tying up resources too.

"Whether those involved are doing it for a joke or not, this is no laughing matter," a spokesperson for the force said.

"These are stupid acts that are really frightening people and wasting our time. Please don't be tempted to do it. Think of the consequences."

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

Police are warning potential offenders they 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.