Youngsters scared of 'killer clowns' turn to Childline

Children have been calling Childline about killer clowns
Children have been calling Childline about killer clowns

The 'killer clown' craze sweeping the UK has led to a deluge of calls to Childline from youngsters left terrified by the sinister phenomenon sweeping the UK.

In just one week the charity was contacted 120 times by children scared by people dressed up in clown costumes to frighten people.

A quarter of the calls to Childline about clowns came from children under 11, while more than a third came from terrified youngsters between 12 and 15.

The US- born craze has seen cases of clowns chasing children with weapons such as knives or baseball bats, in some instances specifically targeting schools.

With Hallowe'en looming, John Cameron, head of Childline, urged people dressing up to act responsibly.

"There is a worrying trend at the moment with some individuals, be they older children or adults, deliberately seeking to dress up in a way not to entertain but to behave in a very scary and threatening way," he said.

"That's a conscious behaviour and should not be tolerated. Sometimes people don't understand the impact that can have."

Earlier this week, South Yorkshire Police revealed that between September 21 and October 12, the force received 61 calls about clowns - 21 in Sheffield, 18 in Rotherham, 11 in Doncaster and 10 in Barnsley.

Incidents reported included people dressed as clowns knocking on windows and doors.

There were also two reports of clowns seen with knives.

On Tuesday night 17-year-old Owen Russell, from Anston, was left covered in blood and needing stitches after a clown threw a branch at his head.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

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