Police chiefs are appealing for people to report incidents of “menacing” clowns following a number of recent sightings across the county, including in Chesterfield.
This week the Derbyshire Times published a video which showed people dressed as clowns late at night in Queen’s Park.
And last week Derbyshire police confirmed the force had received reports of a clown waving at children through windows at Hollingwood Primary School.
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Today, Derbyshire Constabulary says that people dressing as clowns to scare people is “simply not acceptable”.
A police spokesman said: “The supposed clown craze has attracted widespread coverage on social media and with traditional news outlets.
“The quick spreading of these alleged incidents paints the picture that there is a troop of clowns around the county who are out trying to scare people - but it appears not all of them have been reported to police.
“If someone spots a clown acting in a menacing manner and they are in fear for their safety or the safety of others, they should call police before posting about it online.
“If you see a clown and you are not concerned about its behaviour, there is no need to call the police.”
He added: “However, because there is so much coverage of supposed incidents, it is possible that others might get the idea to get involved in the prank.
“Anyone who is thinking of dressing up as a clown to go out and scare people needs to consider how their actions could affect others. Incidents involving clowns that are causing alarm or distress to members of the public will be taken seriously by the police.
“It might seem like a harmless prank, but some people have genuine fears and subjecting someone to a terrifying experience – even if it is funny to you – is simply not acceptable.”