Don't 'like' killer clowns on Facebook say police as they crack down on craze
Police across the region are advising people not to 'like' Facebook pages dedicated to the so-called killer clown craze in an attempt to clamp down on the fad.
The trend, which originally took hold in America, has now seen dozens of people across the UK dress as clowns to scare people.
Previously, police had advised people that taking part in the craze could be seen as committing a criminal offence if they intimidated or harrassed other people through their actions.
Now, Staffordshire Police has issued further advice, warning social media users not to like or share pages about the craze.
In a statement, Staffordshire Police said: "We wish to reassure all of you, of the force's determination to deal with individuals who are intent on acting in an anti-social manner and will act swiftly and proportionately to the increasing number of reported incidents. We are also aware of significant social media activity that is fuelling this so-called killer clown craze.
"Please encourage your family and friends to stop liking and sharing any Facebook pages that publicise the unwarranted clown antics and any planned activities. Every time these sites are 'shared' or 'liked', it encourages more people to become involved in this unwanted and unacceptable activity."
The news comes as Facebook groups on the trend have popped up online. Threatening comments have been issued on the Facebook group called 'Killer Clown Alliance – Bilston'.The latest post on the Killer Clown Alliance page states: "We are coming for you Bilston. The great reckoning begins tonight. Stowlawn, Millfields, Villiers, Bradley, Ettingshall. You are all being forewarned. Live in fear!"
An earlier comment along similar lines says: "We are coming for you Bilston. Don't look, we'll see you. Don't breathe, we'll hear you. Don't move... you're dead!".
Meanwhile, the Facebook page Clown Sightings In The UK continues to show how the craze is sweeping the nation.
Earlier this week it posted a photograph of a clown reportedly lurking outside McDonald's in Kidderminster.
Clowns were also filmed at a car park in Walsall, with the video of the three shared on Facebook and a post accompanying it saying: "Clowns are about in Walsall, be careful." A red-haired clown was spotted by 22-year-old Shaniece Price in Bloxwich. It chased her car and later lurked in the doorway of a pub, staring at her.
Anyone who sees any suspicious clown activity or who has been intimidated or upset are advised to call Staffordshire Police immediately on the number 101.
West Midlands Police confirmed they are not issuing a statement but anyone who is concerned should contact them on 101.