Man, 18, arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance over TikTok 'prankster' clips

23 May 2023, 06:24

Police said they had made an arrest as part of their investigation into TikTok pranks
Police said they had made an arrest as part of their investigation into TikTok pranks. Picture: Social Media

By Asher McShane

Police officers have arrested a man, 18, in connection with an investigation into viral online clips that saw people enter homes without the owners’ permission.

A suspect, believed to be behind a series of TikTok ‘prank’ videos filmed in London, is being held in police custody.

The arrest comes over footage on social media of ‘pranks’ that include ripping up library books, and jumping into strangers’ cars.

In one prank, a teenager can be seen stealing an elderly woman’s dog and running away laughing. He later returns the animal to its distressed owner.

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Group of men enter random house in disturbing TikTok trend

In a statement last night, the Met police confirmed that a teenager had been arrested following an investigation into the footage.

Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway of the Central East Command Unit, responsible for policing in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “I do not underestimate the widespread upset, distress and concern that these videos caused.

"Some people have referred to these as ‘prank’ videos, but I hope that this significant development demonstrates just how seriously we have been taking this investigation since this footage began circulating online.

"A number of these videos were produced, impacting on many different people and our investigation remains ongoing as we seek to build a strong picture of both the activity featured in the footage and impact on the public.”

The TikTok account in question has been taken down, as well as a YouTube page with 39,000 subscribers which the platform said breached its terms of service.

Susan Hall, the leader of the Tory group at the London Assembly, said: “No legitimate social media platform should be hosting this thug's vile videos. 

“Please can you urgently update the public as to what is being done to locate and apprehend this criminal.”

A TikTok spokesman said: “Our Community Guidelines are clear that we prohibit content promoting criminal activity. In relation to this issue, we have banned accounts for violating these guidelines.”

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