‘Clowns’ terrify youngsters at youth club

hanham youth clubThe current craze of people dressing and behaving in an anti-social and threatening way has come to the Hanham and Keynsham area.

Last night police were called to Hanham Youth Club after two ‘clowns’ frightened the young people enjoying themselves there.

Today Sandy Hore-Ruthven, chief executive of Creative Youth Network, which runs the club, said it had been Year 7 night at the club and there were lots of young people inside at the time.

“Two people, we don’t know who, turned up with the intention of frightening the young people which they duly did. We called the police.”

It is understood the clowns did not enter the club itself but frightened the youngsters by appearing at the windows.

Mr Hore-Ruthven added: “We take this seriously. The people behind this may think it is fun but it is not funny for a lot of young people.”

The so-called ‘killer clown’ craze began in America. There have also been reports on social media in recent days of ‘clowns’ hanging around in Keynsham, and claims that some have had BB guns (air guns that shoot pellets). Other people dressed as clowns have been spotted in Longwell Green.

Mr Hore-Ruthven said the clowns in Hanham last night were not brandishing weapons as far as youth club leaders were aware.

Avon & Somerset police say they have received several reports of people dressed as clowns and behaving in an anti-social and threatening manner following a number of similar incidents across the country.

Inspector Julie Knight, of the Local Policing Directorate, said: “We don’t want to stop people enjoying themselves but we’d like to ask people to consider how their behaviour will affect others.

“These incidents can potentially be very distressing and frightening for those involved and we are taking all reports made to us seriously.

“Anyone involved in intimidating or threatening behaviour may well end up committing an offence, being arrested and having a criminal record and we’d urge them to think carefully about the consequences of their actions.

“We’re aware of a number of social media groups raising concerns about this type of behaviour and we’d ask people to refrain from taking matters into their own hands and to report anything they are worried about to us.

“We’d also like to remind people that in dealing with these issues valuable police resources are also being used, potentially impacting on our capacity to respond to other more serious incidents.”

Anyone with information can report it to us via www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact-us/tell-us-something