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Sweden police overwhelmed by clown emergency calls

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Sweden police overwhelmed by clown emergency calls
A clown with a knife. Photo: Vidar Ruud/Scanpix
16:18 CEST+02:00
Police have been deluged with emergency calls as a result of the clown menace currently sweeping the nation, with police in southern Sweden receiving 70 such calls in the last 24 hours.
In the town of Ronneby, southern Sweden, a knife-wielding clown was chasing people around in the early hours of Saturday morning.
 
On Friday evening, a 15-year-old girl out riding alone near Falun in Dalarna, central Sweden, was suddenly set upon by two clowns who began chasing her. 
 
“What most often happens is that someone has heard or seen something, but by the time we get to the place where they’ve seen it, they have disappeared,” Anna Göransson, a press spokesman for the Swedish police in southern Sweden told Sydsvenksan.
 
Police have yet to arrest one of the clowns despite increasingly frequent sightings. 
 
In the small town of Svedala, near the city of Malmö, clown appearances have been so common that citizens mounted a clown hunt on Thursday in a bid to capture and unmask the pranksters.  
 
Nina Ermin from the Svedala police warned those dressing as clowns that the joke could backfire. 
 
“The clown is putting himself in danger. You do not know how an angry mob is going to react,” she said. 
 
Anders Gustavsson from the Dalarna police said the girl who had been chased had not seen the funny side.  
 
“She found it very disturbing and was afraid afterwards that the clowns would come after her at the stables,” he said. 
 
The killer clown trend, which started in the US last month, has spread rapidly in Europe, hitting Sweden in a big way last week. 
 
On Thursday night a young man in Varberg on Sweden’s west coast was slashed with a knife by a man wearing a clown mask, although ambulance staff said his injury was minor. 
 
Sweden’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman has tried to discourage Swedes from joining the craze. 
 
"We don't want a person to risk serious problems because they, perhaps partly for fun, put on a clown mask,” he told the TT news agency on Thursday. "It's Halloween in a few weeks and that's a weekend on which we don't want any tragic misunderstandings." 
 
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