The clown craze has swept through the US, Canada and Australia and has now landed on our shores. In case the craze has passed you by, hundreds of people (only some of whom are children) have decided that it is fun to scare members of the public witless by dressing as clowns, carrying weapons and behaving in a threatening manner. The clown maybe laughing behind that mask but who can tell? There are many stories across the country of people being terrified by clowns jumping out at them or running after them carrying plastic knives or machetes.
Before anyone decides to join in this peculiar trend, it is worth a reminder that the police are taking this seriously, not least because it ties up resources in responding to the call is created by this behaviour. The police have made it clear that if these antics cause fear, alarm or distress then prosecution will follow. They say that they will respond proportionately, but how are they to know if a weapon is real or not? Would you want to take the chance of facing a rapid response firearms unit?
The police have available an array of possible offences including offences under the Public Order Act 1986 and those relating to the carrying of knives or bladed articles for which sentences of imprisonment can be imposed.
No one objects to people just having fun, but when the line is crossed and people are scared then the police have to step in. As they say, “would you do this to your granny?”
How can our Criminal Law Solicitors help?
If you need advice on this, or any matter relating to criminal law, then contact me on 01473 298141 or email at [email protected]