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UPDATE: Boy issued warning after clown pranks in Newcastle

04 Oct 2016 14:00 PM

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UPDATE 2: Wednesday, October 5

Police have issued a teenage boy with a warning after reports of someone dressed as a clown attempting to scare passer-bys.

The 13-year-old was arrested last night (Tuesday) in Blakelaw and he was taken into custody by officers who also seized a knife he had been carrying as part of the fancy dress costume.

The youngster was released from custody later the same evening and given a warning about his behaviour.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Grant Urquhart said: "Carrying out these type of pranks may seem harmless but they can be very upsetting to the people they are targeting.

"We are taking this seriously and I hope that anyone planning on copying this behaviour should know that we will arrest you and take action.

"We have made it very clear to the teenager arrested this behaviour is unacceptable.

"Officers will continue on their regular patrols in the coming days and weeks which will include being visible in the areas where these incidents have taken place.

"We would also like to encourage parents to know where your children are and what they are up to and keep an eye on any unusual behaviour.

"There have been some concerns raised to us about online posts about similar incidents but we do believe these are American-based and don't believe there to be a risk to our communities.

Officers will continue on their regular patrols in the coming days and weeks which will include being visible in the areas where these
incidents have taken place.

Anyone who witnesses a similar incident, or knows the identity of anyone else involved, should contact police on 101 quoting reference 1083 04/10/16.

UPDATE 1: Tuesday, October 4

Warning to those responsible for clown pranks in Newcastle

This is an update in relation to a series of clown pranks that have happened in the Newcastle area throughout the day.

Tonight, officers have arrested a teenage boy in Blakelaw in possession of a bladed article in connection with one of such clown incidents.

This arrest should act as a clear warning to others who are actively seeking to cause distress and potentially harm others.

This behaviour will not be tolerated by Northumbria Police and extra officers will be on hand to offer reassurance and catch those responsible for any criminal offences which have taken place.

Tuesday, October 4

Police are appealing for information after a number of reports of pranksters in Newcastle.

Officers working across the city have received six separate reports of people dressed as clowns jumping out of bushes to scare passing school children.

The first incident happened on Friday, September 30, and there have been a number of further reports over the past few days that involve individuals chasing passer-bys dressed in clown outfits.

Nobody has been attacked or injured during the pranks but it has left a number of young children incredibly distressed and police are taking the reports seriously.

Inspector Stephen Wykes, of Central Area Command, said: "The people carrying out these pranks may think they're being funny but it is leaving a number of young people incredibly distressed.

"Parents of the children affected, and teachers at our local schools, are understandbly concerned and we are working very closely with them as this is not something we want to see happening in our local community.

"There has only been a handful of these incidents, which we think have been inspired by a trend in America, but we are keen to stop them before they cause anyone else further distress.

"We are keen to identify those people who are dressing up as clowns so we can speak to them about their conduct and establish whether any criminal offence has taken place."

Anyone with any information about the pranks, or anyone who knows who is involved, should contact police on 101 quoting reference 1083 04/10/16.