Police in Cambridgeshire were called after a man wearing a clown mask and possibly holding something jumped out at a passer-by. Police said the passer-by reacted by punching the man in the face.

A spate of "creepy clown" sightings has been taking place all over the US and UK in recent weeks. Even the World Clown Association was prompted to speak out saying that it "stands against any type of terrorism, threats of violence, or bullying (which these mask-wearers are perpetuating)".

Cambridgeshire police said they were called about "reports of concern for safety in Woodston, Peterborough". "The informant, a man, was walking along George Street at about 11.20am [on Monday 10 October] when a man jumped out in front of him wearing a clown mask and possibly something in his hand," said a police statement.

According to the statement "the informant punched him in the face".

A spokesperson for a top costume provider in London told IBTimes UK that while there had been an increase in sales of "clown costumes, scary or otherwise" this was not an unusual rise for the run-up to Halloween.

Though Google Trends shows that there has been a fourfold increase in searches for 'buy clown mask' in the last month this year from 2015's Halloween searches.