Lisburn police have warned any so-called ‘killer clowns’ that officers will take a zero tolerance approach when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of children and the public.
The craze which involves people dressing up as sinister looking clowns, sometimes carrying weapons and terrifying members of the public seems to have arrived in Lisburn, with Citywatch confirming one sighting of a killer clown on Tuesday evening.
There have also been reports of children being terrorised in other areas, with residents in Crumlin reporting a killer clown hanging around a children’s play area.
Local officers said that whilst dressing up as a clown is not illegal, it “becomes a problem when people push limits” where public safety is concerned.
Confirming that they have received messages from concerned members of the public, Lisburn PSNI posted a warning to potential clowns on their Facebook page.
They posted: “Let’s use some common sense. Killer clown costumes in their own right are not illegal, especially on the run up to Halloween. It becomes a problem when people push limits and in other words act a bit of a clown.”
Officers outlined how killer clowns could be at risk of breaking the law.
They have detailed how their behaviour could lead to charges of common assault, disorderly behaviour or possession of an offensive weapon.
They added: “So any would be clowns out there. Take heed, where child and public safety is concerned we will take a zero tolerance approach.”
Speaking to the Ulster Star, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described the killer clown craze as “very disturbing.”
He said: “As we approach the darker winter evenings I know that many elderly people and even young people can find going out quite frightening.
“Being out in the dark away from their home can be a frightening experience and the thought that someone dressed in this attire is going to go out of their way to scare them is very disturbing.
“I don’t think it’s particularly funny to dress up and possibly terrify vulnerable people such as the elderly.
I’m not against people having a bit of fun but I do think these types of fun and games could lead to something more serious.”