'Creepy clown' sightings: Dozens reported in Wales

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

Sightings of "creepy clowns" have been reported across Wales, with police warning people they could be arrested for scaring others.

Complaints have been made across the UK about the fad, which sees people dress up in order to frighten passers-by.

Dyfed-Powys and South Wales forces have each received about 30 reports over the weekend and North Wales Police said it was aware of incidents.

Gwent Police had 18 reports, including clowns "peering through windows".

South Wales Police put out a warning at the weekend after receiving complaints about people dressed as clowns "frightening others intentionally".

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Media captionGwent police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said the "creepy clown" fad could have serious consequences

Chf Insp Paul Staniforth of Gwent Police said people could be arrested for a public order offence - causing harassment, alarm or distress.

"Some of the reports have included clowns running through gardens and peering through windows, lurking around shopping centres, parks and schools and jumping from trees," he said.

"Fortunately, to date, we've had no reports of anyone being harmed during these reports."

The culprits are said to be following a trend that started in the US.

Sgt Rhys Williams of Dyfed-Powys Police said while dressing up was not a criminal offence, "deliberately scaring someone, causing harassment, alarm or distress could lead to arrest".

Officers were looking into some of the reports, but no arrests have been made.

Image copyright North Wales Police/Twitter

Sgt Williams added: "Please be mindful that what seems like a bit of fun to you, could not be seen the same way by those on the receiving end of this prank.

"There is also the possibility that you could attempt to scare the wrong person and they could retaliate.

"Anyone who commits a criminal offence should be aware that dressing as a clown does not make them exempt from being investigated and dealt with through the Criminal Justice System."

North Wales Police said officers were aware of incidents, but no offences had been reported.

Image copyright Middlesboro Police Department
Image caption Police in Kentucky, USA, arrested 20-year-old Jonathan Martin who was found dressed as a clown and lurking in a wood

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