Police have warned locals not to ‘take the law into their own hands’ after two groups purporting to hunt ‘killer clowns’ in Larne were set up.
The ‘killer clown’ craze sees individuals deliberately donning sinister clown disguises to scare people.
Last week, a social media user who identified himself as a ‘killer clown’ from the local area issued a warning that the sinister costumed figures will be active in several locations around Larne in the run up to Halloween.
A local mum also told how her five-year-old daughter had been unable to forget meeting a group of four youngsters in clown masks armed with baseball bats and hurling sticks in Dixon Park.
Two Facebook groups calling themselves Larne Clown Hunters and Larne Killer Clown Hunters were subsequently set up.
Larne Killer Clown Hunters features a picture of a clown with a gun being held to its head, and warns: “We are seeking observant residents to report any Killer Clown sightings in the Larne Borough Area. We will be quick to act. Killer clowns be afraid. Be very afraid.”
Meanwhile, the Larne Clown Hunters page features a photo of several clowns carrying a coffin.
However, the PSNI is discouraging vigilantism.
Superintendent Muir Clark said: “Police will provide a response to any report of a concern for safety, ring 101 or in an emergency ring 999. We would not encourage or endorse anyone to take the law into their own hands. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way and don’t get involved in behaviour that could lead to you getting a criminal record.”