Halloween goers urged to act responsibly after clown trend
Written by karen on 20 October 2016
Kent Police is urging the public to act responsibly following a number of reports around the county relating to people dressing up as clowns and intimidating or causing fear to others.
Between 7 and 10 October 2016, a total of 59 incidents involving clowns in the county have been reported.
Superintendent Simon Thompson of Kent Police said: ‘In the run up to Halloween we are seeing an increase in the number of incidents causing fear in public places.
‘We want everyone to enjoy Halloween of course, but those who choose to dress up or wear masks in the lead up to the festivities should do so responsibly and be mindful about how their actions may be interpreted by others.
‘There is an emerging trend, particularly on social media, of people dressing up as clowns and in some instances taking the opportunity to scare or intimidate other people.
‘Kent is not the only county seeing this trend and while some might find it funny, the act of frightening or threatening others may be enough to warrant criminal offences under the Public Order Act.’
Since Friday 7 October, Kent Police has seen a sharp increase in reports of people dressed up as clowns in the county.
Some of these incidents include people jumping out in front of vehicles, staring at members of the public or children chasing other children.
In some incidents, officer attendance has been required and some words of advice have been given. One man, aged 23 from Sittingbourne was arrested for a public order offence. He later received a police caution.
Supt Thompson added: ‘While there have been some instances where people in masks have intimidated others, we have also received calls to report clown sightings in general.
‘We would ask those people looking to report clown incidents to us to consider whether an offence has taken place, such as causing distress or fear, as there will be a lot of people dressed up in the coming weeks as Halloween approaches.
‘If someone is being intimidated, threatened or their safety is put in danger, call us.
supplied by Kent Police