Gang of boys spotted in Bury St Edmunds town centre at 2am were hunting creatures on Pokemon Go

Have you joined the Pokemon Go craze?

Have you joined the Pokemon Go craze? - Credit: Archant

American craze Pokemon Go has hit the UK - and it is already causing concerns in Suffolk.

https://twitter.com/BuryStEdsPolice/status/753476302632394753

Officers in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, tweeted this morning: “Last night four youths acting suspiciously in the town centre #burystedmunds ended up that they were playing #PokemonGO at 2 in the morning.”

The app blends gaming with the real world and sees people using their phone to track down roving Pokemon characters and ‘collect’ them.

In America, the app has overtaken Twitter in terms of downloads. UK gamers desperate to get involved have been ‘tricking’ their phones to enable them to download the app - but as of today, Pokemon is available to British users legitimately via the App Store, Google+ and the Android market place.

Today’s launch has been criticised by the NSPCC with safety concerns about the exploration nature of the game and how this could be exploited by criminals.

A Drowzee

A Drowzee - Credit: Archant


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The children’s charity said in a statement: “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. Pokemon Go is setting a precedent as the most successful reality game app on the market. It’s very disappointing that child safety isn’t at its heart.”

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Nick Summers from technology site Engadget said the exploration aspect of the game should be praised, but agreed it should also come with a warning.

“It’s a fun, if shallow game that encourages people to go outside and explore their surroundings. In that regard, Niantic and The Pokemon Company should be commended,” he said.

“But there are dangers in the real world, and as the NSPCC said yesterday, it’s important that the right safety features are in place. For younger players especially, the usual advice applies here - be careful where you go and who you talk to.”

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