The Royal Gibraltar Police are aware of an incident on Saturday evening whereby a young female was confronted by an unknown person dressed as a clown and wielding what appeared to be a baseball bat, resulting in the juvenile feeling distressed and intimidated.

The so-called “killer clown” craze emanates from the US and involves people dressing up as clowns to deliberately scare or intimidate members of the public. Anyone “seeking to cause distress or potential injury to anyone, irrespective of the circumstances, is warned that we will treat this type of behaviour seriously.” Many similar type incidents reported on social media world-wide are found to be hoaxes, although on occasions, certain individuals deliberately do set out to intimidate and harass members of the public.

Whilst some may consider this type of act to be a “harmless prank,” it can cause fear and anxiety to anyone at the receiving end, especially when the encounter occurs in an isolated area and/or with minimal lighting, and with the culprit(s) concerned brandishing some form of implement or other type of “fake weapon.” These acts can also unnecessarily tie up police resources, potentially impacting on our ability to respond to other incidents.

"Whilst not wanting to be accused of preventing people from enjoying themselves, much as is our stance during the annual Halloween celebrations, we would also ask those same people to think about the impact of their behaviour on others and themselves.

"We will respond robustly if someone feels threatened, intimidated, or suffers any form of injury after being targeted by this kind of behaviour, and the culprit(s) arrested for the relevant offences. Anyone subjected to this type of anti-social behaviour, should report the matter directly to us, and as soon as practicable."