'Killer clown' craze: Exmouth police pledge action
PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:46 14 October 2016
Police have warned they will take a tough line after unconfirmed sightings of so-called 'killer clowns' in Exmouth.
The message comes after this week a photograph supposedly showing a person dressed as a clown in Brixington Park sparked concern, as parents took to social media to vent anger and alarm at the image.
Many parents said their children were too scared to sleep.
However, the unconfirmed reports of a ‘clown hunter’ vigilante returning to the park with a baseball bat have been dismissed by Devon and Cornwall Police as ‘speculation’, as were claims ‘multiple clowns with hammers’ were spotted on Exmouth beach.
Police said they were ‘not aware’ of any incidents in Exmouth.
A police spokesman said: “We are not going to comment on speculation of vigilantism, especially as we have had no reports to back this up.”
Brixington police community support officer Chris Ball said he had not been made aware of any incidents by the public.
“I haven’t heard of anything in Brixington,” said PCSO Ball. “It’s something that Facebook has taken charge of; kids being kids have been putting things up. It’s all been blown out of all proportion.”
Many Exmouth parents turning to social media for answers claimed someone dressed as a clown had been seen walking out from behind trees in Brixington Park, with video footage posted on Instagram.
Other parents described vigilante action in response to the sighting, claiming a man ‘looking for the clown’ had returned to the park with a baseball bat.
Others said a ‘waving’ clown was spotted in a park in Littleham.
Police advised against the current trend of dressing as clowns - scaring unsuspecting members of the public - warning those taking part could face arrest.
Chief Inspector Cath Farrin said the clown craze was ‘completely unacceptable’ and caused distress due to the ‘intimidating and threatening nature’ of the prank.
“We will arrest, and we will look to charge those causing distress with public order offences, especially those who appear to be carrying a weapon of any kind,” said Ch. Insp. Farrin.
Report any suspicious activity to 101, or ring 999 if there is immediate danger.