1. ITV Report

Police issue warning over 'killer clown' vigilante groups

Police have warned that dressing up as a 'killer clown' could be classed as a public order offence. Credit: PA

Vigilante groups are taking matters into their own hands over the current "killer crown" craze, sparking police warnings against both.

While some groups on social media advocate naming and shaming the clowns, others are calling for them to be "taken out".

One Facebook group has asked people confronted by "killer clowns" to unmask them and try and get their names.

This they said would lead to the clowns being publicly shamed, and could get younger clowns into trouble with their parents.

The 'killer clown' craze sees people dressing up as clowns in order to intimidate others. Credit: PA

Similarly a Facebook page with almost 18,000 "likes" asked people to act as a "neighbourhood watch", but stressed that they were not promoting "violence or terror, this is exactly what we are trying to stop".

A post on their page also urged people to contact police over any of sinister clowns sightings.

Contacting the police is the advice put out by forces across the country who have asked the public to contact them on 101 over "killer clown" sightings, and warned that those taking part in the craze may be committing public order offences.

A statement from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said: “Anyone with concerns should report to police on 101 so that we can investigate.

"While some might view this as funny, the act of frightening or threatening others may be enough to warrant public order criminal offences.”

Police have asked people not to take matters into their own hands. Credit: PA

However, some groups appeared to ignore information from the police, with one Facebook page proposing a "game" where clowns were "taken down".

Rules of the "game" included "10 points for a take-down" which "MUST include actually taking the clown out of action, but obviously don't kill the stupid f*****."

They added that "only non-lethal weaponry is permitted" and "deaths are a total no-no", disqualification for both of these would occur.

Those taking part in the game had to post either photo or video evidence of the "take-down".

However, police forces have condemned vigilante groups and urged the public not to take matters into their own hands.

Inspector Julie Knight, of the Local Policing Directorate for Avon and Somerset Police, said: “We’re aware of a number of social media groups raising concerns about this type of behaviour and we’d ask people to refrain from taking matters into their own hands and to report anything they are worried about to us."