Police hunt prankster terrorising Norwich dressed as 17th century plague doctor during coronavirus pandemic – The Sun

A MANHUNT is underway for a prankster who is terrorising kids in Norfolk by dressing as a 17th-century plague doctor.
The strange man has been seen walking around the Norwich suburb of Hellesdon during the coronavirus lockdown dressed in a black coat, hat and pointed beak-like mask.

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Residents say the person has been spotted every day for the last two weeks which is causing alarm and panic.

The costume with the beak-like mask resembled a 17th-century plague doctor who believed the masks filled with perfume and herbs protected them against the Black Death.

The mask also acted as a filter against the disease which killed hundreds of thousands of people across the world.

Danny Buck, a historian at the University of East Anglia, said: "The police believe local residents are finding it disturbing.

"If the person wearing the ‘Plague Dr’ costume is seen out and about in Hellesdon, please contact police at the time.

"A unit can then be dispatched and attempt to locate and identify this person."

Another local said: "Maybe it will make local residents realise the importance of staying home and following self-isolation procedures.

17TH CENTURY PLAGUE MASK

In the 17th century, European plague doctors tended their patients while wearing a long black cloak and a bird-like mask.

The headpiece served as protection to the doctor from the foul odours associated with the plague.

The top of the beak was filled with substances which included lavender, camphor or vinegar sponge, which was thought to ward off the disease.

"The Plague Dr isn't doing anything wrong. And if the gov rules aren't keeping people inside, maybe instilling some fear will."

Annais Ryder said: "Since when the costume is illegal?"

Freya Harrison said: "Surely they are being extra-responsible by wearing a full-face mask?"

Chris Brennan questioned: "What's the difference in dressing up like this and dressing up in a Halloween costume?"

Police are now looking for the individual so they can provide some words of advice.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: "Officers have been made aware of an individual who was seen walking around the Hellesdon area wearing a plague outfit.

"Although no offences have been committed at this time, officers are keen to trace the individual in order to provide words of advice about the implications of his actions on the local community.

"Should any further information come forward about any offences being committed, we will act accordingly."


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