Police have warned pranksters who are posing as “killer clowns” to terrify people that they could face arrest.
The craze for dressing in horrifying clown costumes to jump out on unsuspecting passers-by has started to sweep the country after starting in American colleges.
Reports of the sinister clowns jumping out of bushes and chasing pedestrians have come in from across Scotland, including here on the southside. One police force in England received six reports of such incidents in just five days.
Officers here are warning that such pranks could land the clowns behind them in serious trouble after one teenager was arrested by their colleagues for possessing a knife while dressed up.
A police spokesperson said: “This behaviour will not be tolerated and extra officers will be on hand to offer reassurance and catch those responsible for any criminal offences which have taken place.”
Many people already have a fear of clowns thanks to the likes of the fictional Pennywise, from Stephen King’s IT, and the real-life killer clown John Wayne Gacy and the creepy craze’s arrival in the UK has prompted a flurry of panic on social media
One person took to Twitter, writing: “Many towns have a lot of problems, but I never thought clowns would be one of them”, while Nikkole Foster tweeted: “by 2016 , i thought we’d have flying cars and cool technology, instead we have killer clowns and Donald Trump running for president”.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland went on to say: “Any person seeking to cause distress and potential harm to anyone should be aware that police will take action. If anyone has any concerns they should report the matter to police.”