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Police Headquarters10 Kirkwood Drive
Pokémon Go is a new phenomenon in the mobile gaming industry. Released in July of 2016, the location-based reality game lets people walk with their device as they capture, battle, and train Pokémon, who appears on their screens as though in the real world.
As with many popular phenomenons, there are always concerns. And in this case, it’s no different. Some of the complaints with Pokémon Go have been that people playing the game outdoors have had a difficult time being aware of their surroundings.
Although this game provides players with the opportunity to discover their community and get some exercise, it also poses challenges and potential dangers for those who play, and to others around them. In an effort to mitigate those risks we offer the following safety tips to players of all ages.
We particularly ask players in Victoria Park to be aware and respect the bike lanes.
Tips to the young players
- Although the game will stop if you are in a car moving over a certain speed, this does not apply to riding a bicycle. Don't ride and play! That also applies to skateboards, roller blades, or anything else with wheels.
- Walking and playing is great; walking and playing in the middle of the street is not.
- Be aware of your surroundings. As you are concentrating on your game, someone may be watching. This makes you an easy target for a crime. Try to play with someone you know who will watch out for you.
- Going on someone's property is called trespassing. Respect other people property. If people ask you to leave their property, do so. They care about their lawn and their privacy - not your score.
- The game is an opportunity to meet new people. But the rules your parents have taught you about meeting strangers still apply.
- Make sure your parents know where you are going. If you find yourself in an area you don't know, retrace your steps, or call your parents. It is just a game and not worth getting lost.
- Keep an eye on your device battery. Those Pokémon are power hungry, and you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you have no way to call for help.
- If something happens to you, contact your local police. Pokémon can wait.
Message to parents of the young players
- Make sure you know where your kids are playing and with whom. If there are areas you want them to avoid, make that clear. Remind them about basic safety tips such as safe street crossing, no riding while playing, etc.
- Remind them to be respectful of others. Not everyone plays Pokémon or cares about it. Entering a building without permission is illegal; hospitals and places of worship are especially bad ideas.
- Remind them of the rules about dealing with strangers, but also about treating all people with respect.
- Encourage them to stay off people's private property.
Message to adult Pokémon players
- All the rules above apply to you.
- In addition, you need to remember that driving while playing is: distracted driving and illegal. Don't let a fun game lead to a ticket - or worse - an accident.