'Killer clown' knifeman threatens two girls in Bury St Edmunds
Two girls have been left shaken after they were threatened by a knifeman dressed as a clown.
The incident took place on Durham Close, Bury St Edmunds, at around 6.25pm on Saturday, Suffolk Police said.
Two teenage girls were approached by a man dressed as a clown holding what was described as a machete.
The man ran towards the pair saying he was going to harm them, and the girls then ran off in the direction of Severn Road.
Police said the girls were not injured but were very upset and shaken by the incident.
Officers including firearm and dog units arrived on the scene within five minutes of the report being made and scoured the streets, woodland and industrial estate for the offender, but nobody matching the description given was found, the force said.
It is the latest instance of the ''killer clown'' craze sweeping the UK which has led to a deluge of calls to Childline from youngsters left terrified by the sinister phenomenon.
A 10-year-old boy in Plymouth was threatened by a clown who jumped out of a bush carrying a hammer, while in Workington, Cumbria, a clown brandishing an axe chased an 11-year-old girl.
Children have also been targeted online, with a case in which a 13-year-old boy was arrested and bailed for malicious communications after a girl the same age in Kendal received Instagram messages from someone posing as a clown threatening to cut her throat and rape her.
Kent Police saw 59 clown-related incidents between October 7 and 10, Thames Valley Police had 14 reports in 24 hours, and on Wednesday South Yorkshire Police said it had received 61 reports since September 21, including two of clowns with knives.
Armed officers from Scotland Yard's aviation unit also arrested a suspect wearing a clown mask and carrying a fake gun in Hillingdon, west London, on Tuesday, about five miles from Heathrow Airport.
Suffolk Police said anyone carrying out activities that may scare members of the public could be committing public order offences and may be subject to arrest.