Pokemon Go Game Linked to 105 Crimes Including Robberies, Sex Offenses

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  • Stats collected over just a one-month period included 6 sexual offenses, 3 drug crimes and 37 robberies
  • ‘We would encourage anyone playing Pokémon Go to pay attention to their environment while they do it,’ official spokesperson warns.
  • Saudi Arabia has issued a fatwa against Pokemon, which is hugely popular in the Middle East, as it is considered to be a form of gambling
  • Pokemon has had some 500 million downloads worldwide

The uber popular Pokemon Go game app with its over 500 million downloads was linked to 105 serious crimes in the United Kingdom alone from July 14- August 21, a Freedom of Information request to the Met Police has helped to unveil.

The game allows players to ‘track down and catch’ various Pokemon characters by scouring the streets for them.

These crimes included:

Robberies – 37

Theft & Handling – 32

Violence against the person – 22 (broken down to four counts of wounding/GBH, four assaults with injury, eight common assaults and six counts of harassment)

Sexual offences – 6

Drug offences – 3

Criminal damage – 2

Other offences – 2

Burglary – 1

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A spokesperson for the Met said:

‘We are always looking for opportunities to prevent crime and our Safer Neighbourhood Teams will prioritise how and where they focus their attentions based on the needs of the local area.

‘This is done in consultation with communities and local stakeholders and the merits of officers attending local Poker stops would be decided as part of this process.

‘We would encourage anyone playing Pokémon Go to pay attention to their environment while they do it.

‘There may be an increased risk of accident or of players becoming victims of theft by those targeting them for their devices.

‘Mobile phone theft is still a very real problem but one that can be greatly reduced by careful use in public.

‘Please enjoy the game but stay alert to the outside world while you do.’

Some countries have issued warnings over Pokemon Go or even outlawed the game entirely. 

Saudi Arabian clerics have issued a “fatwa,” banning Pokemon Go. A fatwa is an “Islamic religious ban.”  The game is incredibly popular in the Middle East but is considered to be a form of gambling, an activity banned by Islam. 

A religious edict issued in the UK warns that some parents could lose money by playing the game and that they “are using the game to punish and reward children”.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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