Latest mobiles banned from gym

PICTURE message mobile phones have been banned from an Ipswich leisure facility in a bid to eliminate the threat of the new gadgets being used to photograph youngsters.

PICTURE message mobile phones have been banned from an Ipswich leisure facility in a bid to eliminate the threat of the new gadgets being used to photograph youngsters.

Paul Goodchild, duty manager at Next Generation Clubs, in Ransomes Euro Park, said the move was introduced around one week ago and was a "management" decision.

He said: "The more popular they have got and the more we've heard about them, we thought that with everything that's going on, you never know."

Under the crackdown, users will not be banned from bringing the phones into the club but will be banned from using them.

Mr Goodchild added: "I haven't dealt with any problems. Our members appreciate what the rules are and are being good about it. It's for their comfort."

Ipswich borough council today confirmed that they were still considering a ban on the phones at their leisure facilities, although a decision has yet to be made.

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Talks have been prompted by concerns that the phones could be used by perverts and paedophiles to snap children while they play in sports centres and swimming pools.

Fast Facts

Picture message mobile phones only arrived in this country towards the end of 2002.

It is estimated that by 2007, 40 per cent of all mobile phones will have the capacity to take photographs.

A whopping 18 million camera phones were sold in 2002 – but more than 70% were snapped up in Japan with and another 13% in South Korea.

Europe is playing catch-up, with 1.1 million phones sold during the last three months of 2002, taking the total to 1.32 million.

In the Americas, in contrast, subscribers bought just 230,000 camera phones.

Mobile phone companies hope the camera phones to reignite a stagnant market.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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