THIS one isn’t for anybody with a clown phobia, of which it should be said is one of the most understandable and reasonable of phobias. Don’t look now, but the news is this: London is not totally immune to Britain’s clown crime wave.
This follows those curious reports from the shires over Christmas that some top-level pratfaces were dressing up in clown suits and jumping out at people as they went out to buy bread. It wasn’t even for a shouty BBC Three secret camera show. It was described simply as an internet craze in the newspapers, something to put on Facebook. Northampton and King’s Lynn were hotspots.
Then, as clowns worried about their reputations, police forces from other counties started releasing crown crime statistics and crooks criming in clown suits wasn’t as unusual as you might think. Derbyshire had 29 incidents. South Yorkshire, 28.
So it was worth an FoI request to the Met Police, just to see whether clowns were just as troublesome here. And oh yes – they’re out there, the clowns – and some of them much more menacing than simply Beadling an unsuspecting Norfolk granny on her way to the shops. In their response, the Yard said ‘clown’ comes up in their police reports 117 times over the last three years. Some of these are not clowns doing bad things: apparently, for example, clown pedants are a thing, jewellery, I presume, and have been stolen, and whenever they were the word clown came up in the police report. Note also, that clowns have not always been the aggressors, clowns have been victims too. One victim was robbed while wearing a black and white Pierrot suit: Of course, this is no laughing matter, but the files does not say whether a tear had been make-upped onto their cheekbone.
Soon, however, while looking through the reports, the light-hearted news story about how funny it is that clowns might be naughty turns a little dark. Seeunder ‘malicious communications’, somebody was told that ‘henchmen in clown masks’ would be on their way.
And the suspect who had ‘clown like shoes’.