Creepy clowns have returned in 2018 to terrorize Britain, and authorities are letting worried citizens know just what to do in case they spot one.
We probably have the recent film adaptation of IT to thank for the resurgence of creepy clown sighting across the UK. The craze began many years ago before peaking in 2016, then seemed to ebb in 2017 before rising once again after some schmucks in Hollywood thought it’d be a great idea to have a terrifying movie about a clown.
Nevermind the fact it’s considered one of Stephen King’s best works. The world simply doesn’t need any more killer clowns.
In 2016, Britain endured dozens of incidents involving men (and they were almost always men) wearing scary clown masks and terrifying local residents. Many of them augmented their fear factor by wielding knives, machetes, or sometimes farm implements such as rakes or shovels. Most of the incidents were nothing more than just bizarre sightings or harmless pranks (besides the irreparable psychological harm, of course), but a few involved arrests and at least one involved scaring a woman so badly she went into premature labor.
A few incidents occurred in 2017, which mostly involved kids in clown masks jumping out of the bushes in Essex Park and giving people a fright. But this year the reports are coming in of armed robberies and death threats.
On September 20, a man wielding a knife in a clown mask shouted “run or die” at two kids on their way to school. On August 25, a gang of men wearing clown masks robbed a Sainsbury's Local and threatened to shoot the teller if she didn’t empty the cash register.
Now, police are trying to get the word out on what to do if you spot a creepy clown. Greater Manchester Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson told The Sun that although nobody has been physically harmed yet, they still want to ensure the safety of the populace.
"The safety of people is our utmost priority - we want people to feel safe going about their daily lives. It’s important to stress that no-one has been physically harmed and I want to reassure people that we take reports of this nature extremely seriously," she said.
She called on all citizens to stay on the lookout and call Crimestoppers to report any sightings of creepy clowns. Hankinson asked that calling 999 be reserved for actual emergencies, such as if the clown is armed and threatening bodily harm.