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Woman wore clown mask to scare children

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Police in the UK have spoken to an 18-year-old woman who allegedly approached schoolchildren wearing a clown mask in a bid to scare them.

Kent Police deployed extra patrols around schools following reports that people were wearing clown or Halloween masks to try to frighten pupils walking to and from schools.

The force said it had identified a woman they believe was responsible for the incidents in Tonbridge, Kent, and she was helping officers with their inquiries.

Tunbridge Wells chief inspector Dave Pate said: "We are continuing to make enquiries to establish whether any offences have been committed.

"Whilst it's not unusual for people to be wearing fancy dress, including masks, I would warn everyone to celebrate responsibly and not do anything which may cause alarm, distress of fear to others.

"Anyone found to be committing an offence will be dealt with appropriately."

The last reported clown incident was on October 14, Kent Police said.

Mr Pate said there was no link between the incidents in Tonbridge and reports of people travelling around in vans and approaching children in Tunbridge Wells.

Police have been liaising with local schools and officers investigating the van incidents have ruled out any possible crimes.

Mr Pate added: "I want to assure parents that we take the safety of all children very seriously and currently have extra officers on patrol.

"In many cases there are valid reasons for vans slowing down to find their destination or to ask for directions. However, we would urge anyone who has a genuine concern around suspicious behaviour to get in touch with us."