McDonald's says its iconic mascot Ronald McDonald is keeping a low profile as reports of creepy clown sightings sweep communities across the globe.

The fast food giant told US media that it is being “thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events “as a result of the current climate around clown sightings in communities”.

The company did not offer any further information about how often its red-haired mascot makes appearances or how that will change.

McDonald’s in the UK did not immediately comment.

The ‘creepy clown’ craze has seen police forces in the US and Britain called to a string of incidents where pranksters or criminals dress as clowns try to scare innocent bystanders.

Senior officers are warning that the trend, which started in the US, is a waste of police resources and said they would crack down on those causing fear and anxiety to members of the public.

Police across the UK say they have received a rise in the number of reports of clown-related incidents.

Some involved people dressed up and jumping out in front of vehicles, staring at members of the public or children chasing other children.

Scotland Yard’s Commander Julian Bennett warned that the number of pranks is expected to increase in the run-up to Halloween.

In the latest incident, an 18-year-old man, from Penyrheol, Caerphilly, was issued with a fixed penalty notice and fined £90 for a public order offence.

Gwent Police said they responded to reports that a man was dressed as a clown and intimidating children outside St Cenydd Comprehensive School in Caerphilly.

 

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