ROSSENDALE police have confirmed that social media rumours about a clown kidnapping children in Haslingden are false.

In a statement, the force said: “The Haslingden Neighbourhood Policing Team have been made aware of a rumour circulating in the area regarding several people in Haslingden being dressed up as clowns and using scare tactics to kidnap children and take them away in vehicles.

“Other clown-related rumours are also being circulated on Facebook. We would like to assure parents and local residents that nothing of this nature has taken place in the area and this is a hoax.

“Please reassure your children that they are safe to walk home from school etc.”

Last week the Lancashire Telegraph reported how similiar clown rumours had provoked panicked calls to police from parents in Burnley, Blackburn, Clitheroe and Sabden.