Merseyside Police have issued a warning to pranksters, that dressing up as clowns to scare people will not be tolerated and they could end up with a criminal record.
People across the world are being terrorised by cruel pranksters dressed as clowns as part of a bizarre stunt which appears to have started in the USA.
Merseyside Police said there had been no confirmed incidents reported to the force, but it was aware of the issue.
And despite the strange frenzy sweeping the country, fancy dress shops in Liverpool have reported no significant increase in people buying clown costumes.
Chief Superintendent Peter Costello said: “We are aware of incidents in the United States involving people dressing up as clowns and approaching or chasing other members of the public.
“It appears that social media is being used to circulate stories about similar incidents taking place in some areas of the UK.
“Whilst we have no confirmed incidents reported to us we are aware that social media is being used to circulate allegations that incidents will take place at establishments on Merseyside.
“Merseyside Police wants to make it perfectly clear that behaviour of this type will not be treated as a joke or prank, doing this to a stranger may cause alarm or distress and could constitute a criminal offence such as harassment.
“We will not tolerate any kind of anti-social or criminal behaviour directed at any members of our communities.
“We would urge people to seriously consider what impact this kind of behaviour might have as well as whether their behaviour could constitute a crime and could lead to their arrest and a potential criminal record.”