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Qld govt declares war on 'stupid' clowns

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Stuart Layt and Jamie McKinnell

Queensland Police Minister Bill Byrne's condemnation of the "disgraceful" creepy clown craze does not extend to Halloween.

Mr Byrne said the phenomenon - where people are dressing up as clowns to frighten others, sometimes using weapons - was a concerning drag on police resources.

It was also gaining momentum at "an extraordinary level" around the state, he said on Tuesday.

"I find it incredible people would do this in the first place, but all the information I have in front of me is it's a real problem," he said.

But Mr Byrne was keen to differentiate between the "anti-social" clowning trend and Halloween as a tradition.

"I've never been frightened by a trick or treater," he said.

"I haven't been frightened of clowns lately, but if they're jumping out with a knife I'd be frightened of anyone who jumps out with a knife or a weapon of any description, as any sensible person would be."

Mr Byrne had earlier on Tuesday taken aim at the craze in state parliament, telling the House it was a "dangerous and stupid notion" that ought to be condemned.

He indicated police would take a zero tolerance approach to clowning.

"Police resources need to be spent on going after hardened criminals and all that goes with it," he said.

Principals have also vowed to take tough action against any student proven to be taking part in the trend amid reports of clowns threatening schools.

The craze is said to have been inspired by the US horror film series The Purge, which explores a dystopian theme where crime is legalised for a set period of time.

Mr Byrne said the film had "a disgraceful socio-economic undertone" and included the murder of homeless people.

"It represents a prostitution of society's character," he told parliament.

"It affronts all that egalitarian and inclusive Australia represents."

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