A spokesperson for Essex Police has warned residents of Southend that two clowns are currently walking around the town centre and scaring people.

They are thought to be part of a latest craze that has swept across the Atlantic from America. 

He said: ‘We have had fifteen sightings since 6pm this evening, and naturally their behaviour is causing a lot of distress for members of the public.’

‘We are advising those with young children to stay indoors until they are caught.’

‘They are both known to be circulating around the town centre and High Street, and they can be recognised by their extreme levels of make up and distinctive ‘nails on a blackboard’ accent.’

Dave Suckeridge was enjoying an after-work pint in The Slug and Lettuce when he said he was ‘attacked’ by the two clowns.

He said: ‘They just jumped out at me and I stepped back in fear.’

‘They wanted me to buy them a drink each in return for something called a ‘gobbling,’ and when I refused one of the clowns pulled her top down a little lower and said ‘Go on, I’ll let you have a go on these.’

‘How would I have been able to stand on them?’

Joanna Vange told our Chief Reporter that her two young children both vomited with fear after the pair were spotted wiping some sort of liquid off the benches outside Burger King.

She added: ‘They are the first clowns that I have ever seen arguing over the results of a chlamydia test in public.’

‘According to one of them, she won’t be able to inform the men that she has slept with lately as she has run out of credit.’

‘They looked like a cross between the clown from IT and Des O’Connor. I hope that the police catch up with them soon.’