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Police in the UK have issued a warning about a new TikTok trend called the 'heartbeat challenge'.
The prank involves users playing loud music outside people's homes and banging their feet on their doors to the beat of the tune, before running off.
However, the seemingly innocent prank has seen some youngsters destroy people's doors as a result, and police are looking to stamp it out.
In Hemel Hempstead, an elderly person's front door was damaged, leaving them terrified and having to fork out for the repairs.
Another incident police responded to involved a door being booted open and left insecure when the resident was out, leaving the property vulnerable to criminals.
The local force has stepped up neighbourhood patrols in the area as part of an effort to "draw a line under it", and says it is looking to prosecute anyone who has been involved in the criminal acts.
Speaking about the craze, PCSO Sarah Rex from Herefordshire Police said: "It's not just a bit of fun - it is frightening, anti-social and, in some cases, illegal.
"We will be investigating each report and looking to identify those involved before taking appropriate action.
"We want our young people to enjoy their half term break, but their actions should not be at the expense of innocent members of the public.
"We are working with local secondary schools to share this message but given that it is currently half term, I would urge parents and carers to have a direct conversation with their children and make them consider the victims of their behaviour.
"Please ask them how they would feel if it was their Nan or Grandad who had been targeted."
During an incident in Dorset, a new mother was reportedly left terrified after vandals attempted to kick her door in.
She said: "We have a newborn so I think it just scared us a little to be honest.
"We were actually in the kitchen right by the door when it happened, but with the blinds drawn. We didn't hear any music or anything, but the neighbours thought they heard a group of people outside the house."
And properties in Wiltshire were also targeted by pranksters, too.
"Last night at around 10.50 pm someone tried to kick my front door down, this has sent me into a really bad state of anxiety", wrote a local mother on Facebook.
"My children were sleeping and my first instinct was to check on them.
"This has worried me greatly that someone could do this and I have taken today off work due to how nervous this has made me.
"My children are also off school today due to being awake through the night."
Responding to the spate of incidents, a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: "We would like to remind everyone to be aware of the concern and distress that this type of anti-social behaviour could cause.
"What might seem to be a bit of fun to one person, could in fact leave someone else, particularly someone who is elderly or vulnerable, feeling very frightened.
"We would also urge parents to speak to their children if they believe this might be something they could be involved with, and ensure they understand the potential consequences of their actions."
Featured Image Credit: TikTok
Topics: UK News
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