THE ‘killer clown’ craze has led to death threats and abuse of professional clowns in the Portsmouth area.
Pranksters across the country have been dressing up as ‘killer clowns’ to try to scare innocent bystanders, with numerous reports across the region.
A lot of my friends in the industry have started to receive a lot of abuse, both over social media and over the phone.Professional clown, anonymous
Hampshire police have taken a tough approach to people taking part in the craze. But vigilante groups have also taken matters into their hands to put a stop to it, leading to children’s entertainers saying they have been threatened.
One Fareham clown, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of abuse, said: ‘A lot of my friends in the industry have started to receive a lot of abuse, both over social media and over the phone.
‘A couple of them have even said that they’ve received death threats.’
He added that the craze could affect demand for clown entertainers.
He said: ‘I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really noticed it, but it has certainly gathered steam as of late.
‘I perform as a variety of characters and the clown has always been the least requested. I am interested to see if this now improves, or if he’ll become even more unpopular.
‘The craze is obviously scaring children, though, so I’m not holding my breath about it.’
As reported, a sighting of a killer clown in Gosport left a woman and her son frightened and intimated.
The woman said: ‘I was travelling along Howe Road with an elderly friend and disabled son.
‘We saw people appear in the road by the car in front of us, then noticed their masks.
‘The car in front slowed down but they ran off. As we slowed to turn into our road, they appeared and chased the car. One hit the back of the car, then they chased us to our parking space. My disabled son was and is very scared by this still.’
Hampshire police have warned they are taking all cases seriously.
Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo said: ‘What to them is a harmless prank, could be an intimidating experience, especially for young children and vulnerable people.
‘People could find themselves in a situation which ultimately ends up with getting a criminal record.’