Police issue warning after spate of "frightening" clown sightings across North Yorkshire

Creepy clown phase hits North Yorkshire
Creepy clown phase hits North Yorkshire

Police have warned the recent craze of young people dressing up a clowns, jumping out at residents and chasing them has spread to North Yorkshire.

Pranksters across England have been dressing as "creepy crowns" to deliberately scare people in a trend similar to the one which started in the US.

Police have been forced to respond to dozens of these incidents in recent weeks and officers have revealed there has now been a spate of sightings in North Yorkshire.

Clowns have been seen carrying baseball bats in York and knives in Selby as well as jumping out in front of cars in Northallerton.

In Skipton, a clown was seen banging on the window of a pizza restaurant on the High Street with another standing in the middle of the road.

Police said the force received at least eight reports of these instances on Monday, October 10. Officers have now urged parents to warn their children of the consequences of copying the trend.

A police spokesperson said: "While some people may think this is funny, it is not for the person on the receiving end.

"It could also constitute a criminal offence if you frighten or threaten other people. The same applies regardless of what kind of mask you are wearing, if you set out to frighten or alarm people, you could be committing an offence."

Of the instances reported on Monday evening, police said they believed the majority involved children.

'Clown' sightings have now been reported in York, Selby, Scarborough, Northallerton and Skipton.

Despite there being no official sightings in Harrogate, police have issued advice to anyone who may be affected by similar instances int the future.

"Our advice to anyone who is frightened or alarmed by anyone else, regardless of what they are wearing, is report the incident to the police on 101. If your safety is threatened, call the police on 999," a spokesperson said.

"Please keep an eye out for your elderly relatives, friends and neighbours, especially at this time of the year when the nights are darker and Halloween is approaching."