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Crimes committed by individuals dressed as clowns are on the rise in the U.K.
According to The Mirror, the occurrence of people dressing like clowns likely stems from the case of Alex Powell, a young man who enjoyed dressing as Pennywise from Steven King’s It. Powell, though dressed as a clown, never caused any harm to anyone and was dressing up for the fun of it. However, the clown copycats are doing just the opposite.
Officers in the Greater Manchester area have reportedly dealt with an astonishing 19 crimes committed by people dressed as clowns in the past year.
The clowns have committed robberies, vandalized property, and even conducted fake charity events.
In Stockport, a clown armed with a knife reportedly stole someone's bike. There were also reports of a man dressed like a clown following children to school and creating graffiti in the same area.
In Rochdale, a clown reportedly attempted to grab a teenage boy who reported the incident to police. In the same area, there were also reports of clowns hiding in alleyways and murdering the townspeople. There have also been reports of clowns peeping into people’s windows.
However, with all of the crimes that have been committed, no one has been physically harmed and it not illegal to dress as a clown.
“Firstly, I'd like to stress that it isn't against the law to dress up as a clown. Nobody has been assaulted and it appears that the people involved are waiting for a passerby to be startled by their appearance and run away, and then the clown runs after them for a short distance,” Carl Edwards of the Norfolk Police told BBC News.
Due to the negative press surrounding clowns, the clowning community has spoken out and denounced the acts committed by criminals who are sullying the name of those who are professional clowns.
“The clowning profession can do without stupid people who don't understand the profession and appreciate that it is a performing art and not a spontaneous jolly jape,” said Dave Tawney, European director of the World Clown Association.
"We will be out in the areas where reports have been made to attempt to find those responsible and offer them strong words of advice,” Edwards said.
Image: Wikimedia Commons