Police officers have joined in warning of the risks that players may face as a new mobile game, Pokémon Go, takes the country by storm.
Trending on social media and the centre of massive hype all around the country, and the planet, Pokemon Go has been described as an 'international phenomenon' - raising Nintendo's share price by 50 percent and already hitting 10 million downloads on the Google App store
The game is an 'augmented reality' adaptation of the popular Pokémon franchise which allows players to search for monsters in their real world setting as they explore the local map of their area.
But the game, which was released in the UK this morning, has already attracted warnings to some of the risks it may pose
The NSPCC urged the app's makers, a partnership between Nintendo and Google-owned developers Niantic, to adapt the game before release, fearing it could be exploited by some adults to prey on children.
A spokesman for the charity said: "It's deeply troubling that the app's owners have ignored many warning signals and well documented child safety concerns. It would have been better if they had taken time to reflect on these and put their young users first."
And in the USA there are reports that the game has prompted players to wander into their neighbours gardens in search of digital monsters, with warnings of trespassing. THere have also been more serious incidents with
In Phoenix, police put a post on social media saying 'chasing the orange dragon Charizard is not a valid reason to set foot on someone else’s property'.
Gamers are also being warned to watch for traffic while playing and not to drive while on the app after a 15-year-old daughter was hit by a car and hospitalised in Pennsylvania while playing the game and crossing a busy highway.
Before the release Nottinghamshire Police also put out a post on Facebook wishing players luck.
They said: "Calling all Pokemon Go trainers... With the world going Pokemon Go crazy this summer, Nottinghamshire Police would like to wish all Pokemon trainers the best of luck in catching all their favourite characters.
"Some Pokemon will be harder to collect than others, so please use common sense when throwing your 'Pokeballs' and enjoy the game."
They have now added in a statement warning that people should beware they could 'inadvertently trespass' onto private property while playing the game.
A spokesman said: "With the release of the app there will be many children and adults taking to the streets to play the game.
"However, we ask players to exercise common sense whilst playing to make sure they are aware of their surroundings.
"Wandering around at night, phone in hand, may not be safe. Players could also inadvertently commit an offence of trespass.
"We would also ask players to consider how they would appear to other people; for instance, a player in a residential area late at night using their phone as a torch may give the false appearance of a burglar.
"Children should make sure their parents know where they are going when playing and parents should look to speak to their children about associated risks.
"Finally, people using this new app should exercise caution and just take a minute to think about where they are going and what the environment around them is like."
Now Derbyshire police has also sent out a call for people to exercise caution, concerned that people playing the game in public could e putting their property at risk.
They said: "With more and more people playing Pokémon Go on their phones, police are offering tips on how to stay safe and protect your personal data."
Police have issued the following advice to players, reminding them to concentrate on the real world when catching Pokémon:
- Don’t make yourself vulnerable. Don’t be tempted to take your phone out in busy or unlit areas where you could be a target for thieves
- Concentrate on dangers around you and be careful when crossing the road – don’t just focus on your device.
- Never play the game while driving.
- Don’t trespass on private property.
The website getsafeonline.org has raised concerns around data privacy and that user’s information could be shared with third parties.