British police have warned about people in clown outfits acting suspiciously and sometimes wielding knives as they follow people. The warning Saturday follows a string of incidents in recent days in an apparent effort to copy clown-related threats in the United States, the AP reports. Police in Gloucestershire said there have been six reports of clowns acting suspiciously and sometimes in a threatening way. Police say no arrests have been made because the people dressed as clowns have left the scene before police arrived. The incidents in Gloucestershire followed earlier reports of clown-related disturbances in other parts of Britain.
Police said a masked man with a knife jumped out and threatened children in Durham on Friday and that several people dressed as clowns chased a young boy the day before in Suffolk. "We are aware of the current trend in America of people dressing up as clowns, which has reached the UK and received some publicity in the media," a Cheshire police spokesperson tells the Manchester Evening News. "While we appreciate Halloween is just a short time away, scaring people—especially children and vulnerable people—in this way is completely unacceptable and could constitute an offense." (Police in Utah say you can't shoot clowns just for being dressed as clowns.)