The strange craze of so-called 'killer clowns' that seems to be sweeping the country is anything but funny.

Skipton has been among the latest places to witness this very odd and slightly sinister phenomena, with two incidents reported of people dressed as clowns deliberately scaring others.

Some might find it amusing to see people intimidated and scared by (mostly young) idiots deliberately trying to frighten others.

But young children, along with older and vulnerable people could be left terrified by this sort of behaviour.

There are two reasons why the police are right to take this seriously.

Firstly, there is a genuine level of intimidation and anti-social behaviour about these fools.

In Skipton, we have seen one standing in the middle of the road to stop traffic, putting himself and others at risk, and banging on the windows of a family restaurant, upsetting children and their parents.

In other places there has been darker undertones, with some carrying weapons.

The other issue is that any calls police receive to deal with these incidents are a drain on already stretched resources.

It seems it is mostly young people responsible for these incidents and police are rightly calling on parents to stop any such behaviour.

Police say they will act to deal with the problem, and may prosecute if they believe the law is broken.

Those who do this may think they are being clever and amusing by acting in this way.

But if they end up with a criminal record on the back of it then the last laugh will be on them.