Pranksters dressed at clowns jumping out to scare schoolchildren has prompted a police force to issue a warning over their behaviour.
There have been at least six incidents in Newcastle since 30 September and police believe those behind the pranks have been inspired by similar behaviour in the US.
Northumbria Police said they had received a number of reports involving individuals chasing passers-by dressed in clown outfits.
On Tuesday night, officers arrested a teenage boy in Blakelaw in possession of a “bladed article” in connection with one of the clown incidents.
The force said the arrest should act as a “clear warning” to anyone “actively seeking to cause distress and potentially harm others”.
Inspector Stephen Wykes, of Central Area Command, said: “The people carrying out these pranks may think they’re being funny but it is leaving a number of young people incredibly distressed.
“Parents of the children affected, and teachers at our local schools, are understandably concerned and we are working very closely with them as this is not something we want to see happening in our local community.
“There has only been a handful of these incidents, which we think have been inspired by a trend in America, but we are keen to stop them before they cause anyone else further distress.
“We are keen to identify those people who are dressing up as clowns so we can speak to them about their conduct and establish whether any criminal offence has taken place.”
Police are appealing for anyone with information about the pranks, or anyone who knows who is involved, to contact them on 101 quoting reference 1083 04/10/16.