The creepy clown craze sweeping the nation in the run-up to Halloween has reached the Isle Of Dogs, with one masked individual spotted in a car park wielding what appeared to be a knife.

The clown was seen by a resident standing in the Samuda Estate by Manchester Road and holding the object in their right hand.

A picture was posted on Facebook and people were less than impressed with the person's creepy loitering.

One resident said on Facebook: “What the hell is wrong with these people? What happens if/when someone eventually beats up one of these clowns?

“Who is held responsible, man dressed as scary clown carrying a potential weapon or a man who is fearing for his life because scary dressed clown is chasing him/her down the street with a potential weapon!?!”

Another said: “I know we can’t take any chances, but the knives are usually fake and part of their scare tactic.”

The so-called 'killer clowns' have been seen across the UK, including this pair in Cheetham Hill, Manchester

Cllr Andrew Wood, one of the admins of the Canary Wharf And Isle Of Dogs Residents' group on Facebook , urged people not to panic but to call the police if they see anyone carrying a weapon.

He said: “This appears to be a silly person copying something that started in the USA. The best thing is to ignore these people, they are just looking for a rise.

“However the laws on knives is that it is illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade three inches long (7.62cm) or less.

“Therefore if you see somebody carrying a knife like this and with no good practical reason you should call 999 as they are in the act of committing an offence.”

The so-called creepy clowns craze began in the USA in the late summer and has spread to the UK in the run-up to Halloween, capitalising on people’s fear of clowns and particularly clown faces.

Incidents in the UK include a man dressed as a clown and carrying a baseball bat chasing a 10-year-old child through a park in Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

A Met police spokesman said to the Evening Standard that officers would investigate any allegations of offensive behaviour, offensive weapons or public order offences.

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