Clowning around may land you with a public order offence, warn police to anyone contemplating taking part in the latest pranking trend.
Yesterday police investigated a report of a man being assaulted by someone wearing a Halloween mask in Littleport.
After reviewing the alleged incident in detail, including comprehensive CCTV footage from the immediate area, police could find no evidence an attack had actually taken place.
Posting on the Policing East Cambridgeshire Facebook page, police said: “There has been a great deal of discussion on social media concerning the current ‘clown craze’.
“We have no evidence locally to suggest that these pranks present a risk to public safety.”
However, police are reminding people that any act involving threats or trying to frighten others may be enough to warrant public order criminal offences.
The “killer” clown trend started in America and involves people disguising themselves as clowns and scaring people. Some are seen to carry “weapons”.
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite is asking people to refrain from taking part in clown pranks, following a rise in incidents in other parts of the country.
““Whilst those dressing up as clowns might see this as “just bit of fun” it is anything but.
“These individuals do not understand the consequences of their actions.
“People are being left traumatised and fearful that they could be assaulted. This is particularly true of children.”
On Monday a man dressed up as a clown was punched in Peterborough after trying to scare a passer-by.
Mr Ablewhite warned that anyone found to be “terrifying or threatening others” may be charged with committing a crime.
“This is not something anyone wants to see so I appeal to those involved not to take the risk.”