Scary pair just clowning around
As police resourses are being sapped, and tensions across the country over parading issues, masked men, and schisms in politics are rife, police in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus have a new enemy – a clown and hooded figure.
The pair seem to be copycats of an unidentified clown appearing in Northampton in England, but they have got too big for their clown shoes after the PSNI were contacted when they caused distress to children at secondary schools in Carrickfergus.
They also have a dedicated private vigilante unit 'The Carrick Clown Killers' – men dressed in boiler suits, with devil masks – hounding their every move.
A local youth worker said on social media that children she works with were "freaking out" because of the clown. She wrote: "Just home from youth group with a group of teenagers who are convinced the clown is handing out red balloons and if you get one you're going to die.
"They're all freaking out. On its own it seems a harmless enough prank, of course it is, we're adults and can laugh at it but the urban myth that starts to develop is the scary bit."
Police originally stated: "Police are investigating the report of two males acting suspiciously in the vicinity of two secondary school in the Carrickfergus area earlier this afternoon.
"Shortly before 2pm two males approached the playground area, one of these individuals was dressed in a clown's costume. The individual dressed in the costume appeared to pose for a picture with the playground as a backdrop. This is one of several incidents that police have been made aware of involving a man dressed in a clown's outfit."
After the clown involved contacted the police they said: "police have now spoken to this man and we are satisfied this was a prank with no sinister intent.
"The school involved and the parents who had originally reported their concerns to police have now been updated.
"Police must take seriously any report of suspicious activity or suspicious people in the vicinity of a school and fully investigate the circumstances, as we have done in this case."