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Cumbria Police urge people not to participate in “clown craze”

clown[C]umbria Police are continuing to receive reports of the “clown craze” which is causing distress and fear to people in our community, with 23 incidents reported in the last 24 hour period.

Superintendent Mark Pannone said: “We appreciate that the majority of the public understand the impact and harm that this “clown craze” is causing, particularly to children.

“We are hoping that this craze will pass this week and we’d urge the small minority of people still taking part to stop. Dressing up as a clown and deliberately trying to scare and intimidate others is causing a lot of distress to people and we will not tolerate it – this “prank” could lead to you being arrested for a public order offence, possession of an offensive weapon or even an assault.”

During the 24 hours from 7am Tuesday 11th October to 7am this morning, Wednesday 12th October Cumbria Police have received 23 reported incidents. In three incidents offenders have been identified and action has been taken.

At approximately 5:20pm yesterday, 12th October 2016, it was reported that a 13-year-old girl in Kendal had received threatening messages via “Instagram” from someone posing as a clown who threatened to cut her throat and rape her. A 13-year-old boy was identified as the offender and he was arrested for Malicious Communications and has been released on police bail.

Also at approximately 5:20pm yesterday, 12th October, it was reported that a man was wearing a white mask in Millom and was following a group of children aged 10-13 years old. A 23 year old man was interviewed and has been reported for a section 5 public order offence.

At 7:15pm yesterday it was reported that a clown jumped out of a car in Millom and scared a female pedestrian.  A suspect was identified and crime was submitted for a public order offence.

Details of the incidents reported are as follows:

Appleby14yr old received FB friend request from a clown. Clown then made threats.

Enquiries discovered it was his friend playing pranks.

CarlisleStaff at school reporting that3 young people in clown masks werehanging around outside school the previous evening.
CarlisleTeacher at school reporting that a 9 year old pupil had been chased by 3 adults in clown masks the previous evening.
CarlisleReport that afemale student at Newman School set up a fake FB Account as a clown threatening to stab people.Enquiries suggested this was a false report and no evidence of messages sent.
CarlisleCaller reporting seeing someone jumping out and scaring people in the underpass by Trinity School wearing a clown mask. Caller refused to see Officer.
WhitehavenS34 Disp Order put in place for Hensingham Sq. Whitehaven between 1800hrs 11/10/16 until 1759hrs 13/10/16 as result of “Clown Craze” .

PCSO’s and plain clothes officers deployed in location during which Police Van was “egged” by youths.

Vulcans Lane. WorkingtonReport of clown carrying an axe or wooden baton chasing 11yr old girl.

Victim identified and crime report for S4 submitted. No suspect located to date.

Sainsbury’s, PenrithReport of young people aged 12-13yrs talking seen talking about obtaining clowns costumes and knives and going to Sainsbury’s to scare people.
Norfolk St, CarlisleCaller reporting having seen from her bedroom window 6 young people in a park, two were in clown masks. Not threatening anyone.
AspatriaBelieved Hoax Call from stating two clowns had chased caller all round Cumbria with knives and machetes.
Hugh St, WhitehavenTwo young people were seen running down street dressed as clowns. No threats made.
Chapel St, ApplebyReport of 6-8 young people in clown masks jumping out of bushes at people walking past.

Officer deployed on foot in area. No sightings.

KendalReport of clowns in woods chasing kids.Also a report of another young person seen in area with a knife (not a clown). Enquiries are ongoing.
WigtonClown sighting in Phoenix Park. No threats made. No further reports.
Church Lane, BarrowReport of 6 young people running in and out of church choir practice wearing clown masks trying to scare the congregation.Youths left area prior to officers on scene.
West Shore Road, BarrowSighting of two males in clown masks pretending to jump out in front of cars.

Area search, however no suspects found.

Blackwell Rd, CarlisleReport of clown looking over callers rear garden wall. Clown then left area. No threats made or offences disclosed.
Shadygrove Rd, CarlisleThird party report of approx. 20 young people with clown masks outside Police Station.

Area search by Officers (who were in Police Station at time) and no sightings.

Dalton-In-FurnessThird hand report that two clowns have been seen in park near leisure centre.

No threats made and no further sightings.

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