‘KILLER’ CLOWN CRAZE MAY BE ON THE WAY BACK
CONCERNS are growing that the socalled ‘Killer Clown’ craze which terrorised many across the UK in 2016 and last year has returned.
Sightings of people dressed as clowns horror stories and films – which previously occurred in Uxbridge among other places – are again being reported across the country.
Officers are now being called to new reports and, in some cases, the clowns are reported to be holding knives.
It is believed that the craze took hold after people were inspired by Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s It, ahead of the release of a remake of the horror film in 2017.
In October 2016, there were frightening reports of someone running through Brunel University’s campus in Uxbridge, dressed as a clown and carrying a chainsaw.
In a statement, security operations manager Terry Vass said: “Someone dressed as a clown and carrying what appeared to be a chainsaw was seen on the campus on Saturday night.
“Although we can’t confirm whether the chainsaw was real or not, we take such incidents and our students’ safety extremely seriously.”
In December 2016, Mortaza Muzafari and Mohammed Rashid, both from Enfield, were given community orders after they were caught scaring a victim dressed as clowns in a car park at Westfield shopping centre on October 17.
Both men, aged 20 and 18 respectively, carried out unpaid work as part of the sentence and must each pay a total of £270 in fines, court costs and other fees.
In just one week in October 2016, Childline was contacted 120 times by children across the country scared by the sinister trend, in which people dress up as terrifying clowns in order to scare passers-by.
A quarter of those contacting Childline about clowns were under the age of 11.
In October 2016, an NSPCC spokesperson said: “People getting dressed up as ‘creepy clowns’ and frightening children should take a long hard look at themselves.
“Clowns are meant to make children laugh but these people are abusing this idea and turning it into something twisted and warped.
“Increasing reports that these ‘clowns’ are not simply seeking to frighten children but using them to intimidate, commit crimes, abuse or bully are deeply worrying and this trend needs to be stamped out.
“Young people should stay well away from them and if they do happen to see a ‘creepy clown’ out on the streets, or lurking near their school, they should immediately tell their parents or the nearest responsible adult and report it to the police where necessary.
“If a child is worried they should call Childline on 0800 1111 or get in touch via chidline.org.uk.”
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