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Pokemon Go

Hong Kong police to keep a ‘close eye’ on areas packed with Pokemon hunters

The force said it will keep a close watch on crowded parks and other venues, to ‘avoid accidents’ after the release of the hugely popular smartphone game in the city

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2016, 8:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2016, 2:26pm

The chief of the city’s police said the force will pay close attention to venues thronged by crowds after the release of the new smartphone game Pokemon Go “to avoid accidents”.

Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-ching was speaking in a response to a concern raised by a Tsuen Wan district councillor during a meeting on Tuesday.

The councillor said a large number of people were seen packing out a park in the district playing the game on Monday night, hours after the release of the augmented reality smartphone game in the city.

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The game, which has taken the world by storm, allows players to use their phones’ GPS and camera to hunt for virtual Pokemon – short for Pocket Monsters – in the real world.

Lo was urged to send more officers to keep an eye on the situation.

He said the force had noted the situation and had issued a notice to the public on Monday, reminding them not to play the game inside any police stations to avoid causing a nuisance.

“We will continue to pay attention … I will ask the colleagues in the districts to keep a closer look. If there are any districts where more those [monsters] would appear, and many people will gather, we should watch over [those] too to avoid accidents.”

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On Tuesday night, hundreds of young gamers filled a park in Tin Shui Wai with their eyes glued to their mobile phones. A similar scenario was seen in the plaza outside Times Square in Causeway Bay.

Some of them told media they had almost or had already bumped into objects during their search for Pokemon.

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Besides the police force, which posted a video on their official Facebook page to caution people against playing mobile phone games while crossing roads and while driving to avoid accidents, the Hospital Authority, religious centres and the People’s Liberation Army have all made clear that gamers hunting Pokemon should stay off their premises.