People living in the ELL boroughs have been urged to ignore pranksters dressed in killer clown outfits “and not give them the satisfaction of scaring you” after two incidents in Lewisham and Docklands.
The advice came after a Hither Green mother told how her young daughter was chased on her way to school yesterday morning (October 11) by someone dressed as a clown holding a knife.
Lucy Cheree Fraser wrote on the Facebook group Come Hither, to Hither Green: “My daughter was walking through [Manor House gardens] this morning on way to school, and there was a guy in a clown mask with a knife waving it around by the dog park. He then chased her and her friend to her school. My daughter is now frightened to go to school now. Please keep your eyes peeled for these clowns and if you see anything then call the police.”
A second person dressed as a clown was also seen on the Isle of Dogs, standing alone with a knife in the car park of Samuda Estate by Manchester Road on the October 9.
Andrew Wood, councillor for Canary Wharf, described the pranksters as “sad people seeking thrills through scaring people”.
He added: “The best solution is not to give them the satisfaction, ignore them as you walk past, do not let them get any satisfaction from scaring you.”
The trend which originated in the US involves members of the public dressing up in clown costumes, often carrying a weapon and scaring strangers in public, and sometimes chasing them.
The Metropolitan Police Commander Julian Bennett said they were “accessing a small number of reported incidents in London, three of which meet the threshold of a criminal offence”.
“Our primary responsibility is identifying and investigating those incidents where a criminal offence has occurred” warning people who may be interested in partaking in the so-called prank.
Councillor Wood also sought to remind members of the public that it was“illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason” and that if they were to see someone carrying a knife that they should get in contact with police immediately.
Goldsmiths student Emma Pradella said she saw someone dressed as a clown standing outside Whitechapel Underground station carrying a fake gun.