Clown-attack pranks leaving children 'incredibly distressed', say police

Pranksters who are scaring the living daylights of youngsters by dressing as clowns are being sought by police.

Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 3:39 pm
People dressed as clowns have been scaring children across Newcastle.

Officers across Newcastle have received six separate reports of people dressed as clowns jumping out of bushes to scare passing schoolchildren. The first happened on Friday, September 30, and there have been a number of further reports over the past few days involving individuals dressed in clown outfits chasing passers-by.Nobody has been attacked or injured during the pranks, but it has left a number of young children incredibly distressed and police are taking the reports seriously. Inspector Stephen Wykes, of Central Area Command, said: "The people carrying out these pranks may think they're being funny, but it is leaving a number of young people incredibly distressed."Parents of the children affected, and teachers at our local schools, are understandably concerned and we are working very closely with them, as this is not something we want to see happening in our local community."There has only been a handful of these incidents, which we think have been inspired by a trend in America, but we are keen to stop them before they cause anyone else further distress. "We are keen to identify those people who are dressing up as clowns so we can speak to them about their conduct and establish whether any criminal offence has taken place." Anyone with any information about the pranks, or anyone who knows who is involved, should contact police on 101 quoting reference 1083 04/10/16.

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