Alarm over safety of kids using ‘Pokémon Go’ App

One of the Pokemon monsters from Pokemon Go.

One of the Pokemon monsters from Pokemon Go.

The local NSPCC charity has raised concerns that unsuspecting children might be preyed upon while using the massively popular ‘Pokémon Go’ App.

The owners of ‘Pokémon Go’ have now been challenged by the NSPCC do more to ensure it is not abused by those who would put children at risk of serious harm.

The leading children’s charity is worried that offenders could target unsuspecting children by using the app’s geolocation feature to lure them into traps.

Neil Anderson, head of the NSPCC in Northern Ireland claimed: “Pokémon 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.”

There was no-one at the company to respond yesterday.

The PSNI, meanwhile, have also issued more general advice to parents about the dangers of the internet for children.

A police spokesperson said: “The most important thing is to have conversations with your children – talk to them about the benefits and dangers of the internet so that you can empower them to use it safely.

“Cultivate an interest in their online activities – their favourite websites, online games and interests and keep an eye on what they are doing online.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your children who they are talking to online and what they are talking about.

“Remind them how important it is to tell a trusted adult if something happens online that makes them feel uncomfortable or worried because there are people who can help.

“Become a net-savvy parent – the best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Jump in and learn the basics of the Internet – read articles, take a class and talk to other parents.

“You don’t have to be an expert to have a handle on your child’s online world.”

Parents can go to www.getsafeonline.org for advice and information on how to stay safe online.