Police have issued a teenage boy with a warning after reports of someone dressed as a clown attempting to scare passers-by.
The 13-year-old was arrested last night in Blakelaw, Newcastle, and taken into custody by officers who also seized a knife he'd been carrying as part of the fancy dress costume.
The youngster was questioned and then released from custody and given a warning about his behaviour.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Grant Urquhart said: "Carrying out these type of pranks may seem harmless, but they can be very upsetting to the people they are targeting.
"We are taking this seriously, and I hope that anyone planning on copying this behaviour should know that we will arrest you and you will spend a night in custody.
"We have made it very clear to the teenager arrested this behaviour is unacceptable.
"Officers will continue on their regular patrols in the coming days and weeks, which will include being visible in the areas where these incidents have taken place.
"We would also like to encourage parents to know where your children are and what they are up to, and keep an eye on any unusual behaviour.
"There have been some concerns raised to us about online posts about similar incidents, but we do believe these are American-based and don't believe there to be a risk to our communities."
Anyone who witnesses a similar incident, or knows the identity of anyone else involved, should contact police on 101.