We have received this from the supervising lead for Safer Schools Officers across Leeds.
As you may be aware the ‘POKÉMON GO’ game has recently been released in the UK. As a result of this a number of concerns have been raised for the safety of individuals pursuing characters within the game.
It is possible that during the summer break, young players may have more time and freedom to roam in pursuit of their quest. As a result of this they may not put into practice the messages which we deliver with regards to their personal safety and the safety of others.
If at all possible we at the Leeds district (Safer Partnerships) of West Yorkshire Police would request your assistance in putting forward a safety based message to your students prior to school breaking up for the end of term.
The app allows people to set up a ‘beacon’ which can then encourage other users to reach a specific venue and we are concerned it could be the latest way online criminals attempt to target victims. There have (allegedly) already been similar incidents in America.
Our advice to players would be:
· Be cautious to alerting strangers to where you will be in the future
· Be careful where you leave ‘beacons’
· Parents should supervise children when using the app
· Always pay attention to your surroundings and especially do not play in areas where traffic runs through or in dangerous locations such as around water, cliff tops, craggy outcrops and mountainous regions.
· Where possible play with friends and stay in a group and have at least one of your friends as a ‘lookout’
· Play at home – you can use lures to attract Pokémon to you
· Keep your device safe and out of sight – your phone will vibrate when a Pokémon is near
The makers of the game have said:
“We encourage all people to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends or family, especially when you are exploring unfamiliar places. Please remember to be safe and alert at all times”.