Herts Police issues warning over 'frightening' clowns
PUBLISHED: 09:18 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:27 11 October 2016
Herts Police is issuing a warning following several reports of people dressed as clowns and attempting to frighten people.
There have been five reported incidents across the county and officers are working to understand the nature of these calls.
Chief Inspector Gerry McDonald said: “Although the people dressing up as clowns may think they are taking part in some harmless fun, they should be mindful of the impact their actions may have on others and be aware that any behaviour that causes another person alarm or distress could lead to them being arrested under the Public Order Act 1986.
“We want people to enjoy themselves as we approach Halloween but not at the expense of others.
“In one incident a man dressed as a clown was approaching shoppers outside Tesco in Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead, whilst being filmed by his laughing friends. They may have thought this was a comical prank but it was causing distress to others.
“It is also important that people use social media responsibly and do not post items that could further fuel this ‘craze’ and create unnecessary fear within the community.”
He added: “At this stage it is unclear whether some of these reports have been made by hoax callers. I’d like to remind the public that the Constabulary will take robust action against anyone who makes hoax calls to the force as this can divert precious resources away from real emergencies.”
Anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity where people are dressed as clowns can report it to Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101.