Police are advising pranksters not to dress up as a clown and frighten strangers with a weapon.
Sussex Police's warning comes after they received "numerous" calls over the weekend from people left feeling intimidated by the new trend.
We are aware this is a trend that has come over from America as Halloween is approaching.
However while is not an offence to dress up as a clown and prank your mates, we don't advise people to do this to strangers in the current climate of heightened security and it is an offence to carry an offensive weapon or an item which could be perceived to be a weapon.
We will respond if someone feels threatened and the culprit could end up being arrested and then they won't find it so funny."
They say last week a cyclist contacted them about an incident - he had been riding north along the national cycle route to Golden Jubilee Way, Eastbourne, on Wednesday (October 5). A person dressed as a clown jumped out from a bush holding what he believed to be an offensive weapon. The man didn't speak to him and made no attempts to harm him but the cyclist was left shaken by the incident.
While we realise that reports of this kind are not restricted to just the Sussex area, the issues of intimidation, potential arrest and waste of public resources are the same across the country and we would urge people to refrain from such activity."
Thames Valley Police say they've been called to 14 incidents involving 'clowns' in the past 24 hours
Police forces across the south are joining calls against the 'killer clown' craze which is sweeping across Britain