London Police say officers are aware of and investigating social media threats involving “killer clowns”.
The phenomenon arrived in London this week as an Instagram post (pictured below) warning kids at local schools, except for Regina Mundi, to stay home on Friday.
The threat states “the clowns are going to be there and this is not a joke” and that “we are kidnapping students and killing teachers, we’re not clowning around”.
On Thursday, London Police Constable Sandasha Bough tells AM980 police “are investigating at least one incident involving a post shared on an Instagram site”.
Bough adds that Secondary School Resource Officers and School Safety Officers are aware of the clown hoax on a whole and “are working with local school boards to ensure that the students are safe”.
The threat however, follows a string of incidents across North America, including a false claim earlier this week that weapons-wielding clowns from the United States murdered 23 Canadians that was first posted on a fake news web site.
In Chatham-Kent, police say they are aware of the hoax and have yet to receive any official “clown sightings” in the community. Cst. Renee Cowell adds that “although it is not an offence to dress in this fashion, our response will be dictated by your actions (ie: uttering threats, being in possession of a weapon, mischief, cause disturbance, trespassing etc)”.
Niagara Regional Police have also been inundated with concern over the issue and have released a video aimed at helping any frightened children.
While many sightings and reports did not result in any serious incidents, there have been reports of arrests and injuries involving clowns.
On Thursday, a 24-year-old man wearing a clown mask was arrested in Nova Scotia after RCMP say witnesses saw the man grab at the clothing of a young boy.
Earlier this week, a 13-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy were charged in Virginia after a person posing as a clown on social media was asked to kill one of the girl’s teachers.