Northern Ireland

'Killer clown' warning as craze hits Northern Ireland

Creepy clown Image copyright iStock
Image caption It is thought the fad began in America and has now spread to the UK

Police have issued a warning to anyone considering taking part in the so-called 'killer clown' craze.

The prank involves people dressing up as clowns to deliberately scare or intimidate members of the public.

It is thought that the fad began in America and has now spread to the UK.

But police in Northern Ireland have said that encouraging behaviour which deliberately "generates fear" or posting threatening messages can lead to a criminal record.

Clowns have been spotted in Belfast and there are reports that a school in Coleraine closed its doors for a short time on Friday because of fears that people dressed as clowns were on their way.

Police say they have received several reports of posts on social media from individuals who have suggested dressing in clown costumes and going to schools to scare students and teachers.

Ass Chief Const Stephen Martin said: "I would advise anyone who may be considering posting information on social media platforms to consider what they're saying.

"Crime is crime, whether in the virtual world or the real world and there are consequences. Please don't get caught up in something that could jeopardise your future."

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