Young people offered Pokemon Go safety advice at summer police camp
YOUNG “Pokémon trainers” have been receiving advice from the police on staying safe while playing the popular game, as part of a summer camp.
The potential dangers of the smartphone game, which has taken the world by storm in the few weeks since it was released, were explained to hundreds of youngsters aged nine to 15 attending the West Yorkshire Police Camps, held at Bradford College this week.
Pokémon Go involves players using their mobile phones to catch virtual creatures that appear in real-life places.
The game has proved controversial, with reports of people crashing cars, injuring themselves and even getting mugged because they were distracted while playing.
PCSO Luke Carson gave a talk to 275 youngsters attending the camp to raise awareness among players across the city.
He said: “We ask that while out having fun playing Pokémon Go, people should take care, make sure they are aware of their surroundings and that they have told an appropriate adult where they are going.”
He also set the youngsters the task of designing their own Pokémon to represent the camp’s message of respect, diversity and equality.
Over the week pupils have been taught how to stay safe online.
Nosheen Qamer, who organises the camps, that have been running since 2009, said it was an important topical issue for them to address.
She said: “With recent news articles about the dangers of the app, such as someone walking off a cliff while playing the game and a large group of youths stealing a boat and having to be rescued by the coastguard while out trying to catch rare Pokémon, we felt it was important to deal with it.
“By making the children aware of some of the dangers it would hopefully make them think more about their surroundings.
“We have gone through ‘stranger danger’ messages along with issues of personal safety and explained some of the laws that could be broken such as trespassing on private land and on the railways.”
West Yorkshire Police Camps combine sport and other activities with education workshops and aim to reduce anti-social behaviour in the area during school holidays.
Places are still available for the next camp in October. It runs from Tuesday, October 25, to Friday, October 28. For more details see the website policecamps.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/