Pokemon Go UK launch should not have happened because of child safety fears, says NSPCC

The children’s charity said that it was troubled that developers had ‘ignored many warning signals and well documented child safety concerns’

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 14 July 2016 13:30 BST
NSPCC concern over Pokemon GO

The NSPCC has criticised the launch of Pokemon Go in the UK.

The app shouldn’t have been released in the UK because it doesn’t do enough to keep children safe, the children’s charity has said.

Pokemon Go has now made its way into the App Store and Google Play Stores in the UK. But it shouldn’t have done so because of the dangers it presents to kids.

Because the app encourages people to explore the world, by allowing them to find new Pokemon by heading to different places, the app could be exploited by criminals, the NSPCC said.

The same geolocation feature that is central to the app could be used by offenders to find children, the charity warned.

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."

Before the app had been launched in the UK, the charity urged developers to hold it back because “basic safety standards appear to have been overlooked”.

It had initially only been released in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Developers slowed the rollout further around the world because the huge interest was resulting in servers breaking down.

Pokémon Go turns man's house into a gym, causes huge problems

Police have also warned that playing the game could put people in danger, because of the strange gatherings that happen around important areas in the game.

"Last night four youths acting suspiciously in the town centre #burystedmunds ended up that they were playing #PokemonGO at 2 in the morning."

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