Pokemon community furious after police mock adult Go players

Brent Koepp
Pokemon Go logo next to police officers.
Niantic / The Pokemon Company / Pixabay

The Pokemon Go community was left furious after UK police appeared to “mock” adults who play the popular mobile title.

In 2016, millions of players ventured outside of their homes to capture their favorite ‘mon in the real world with the debut of Pokemon Go. Four years on, the hit mobile title is still a cultural phenomena.

However, fans were left angered when a viral post by police in Essex, UK seemed to have made fun of adults going outside and playing the game.

Screenshot of Pokemon Go in-game map.
Niantic / The Pokemon Company
Pokemon players are being singled out by police.

Pokemon Go players angry over police post

On January 10, the social media account for the Essex police called out Pokemon Go players going outside to play the Niantic game. Fans of the series were upset when the account singled out fans based on their age.

“While patrolling, [we have had to] speak with a number of different men, aged 30 + over the last week, who seemed to feel it’s acceptable to attend certain public places within the district, to hunt Pokemon! Yes, you did read that correctly,” the post read.

The social media letter went viral on Reddit’s ‘unitedkingdom’ forum when one user created a thread and said, “Police in Essex have posted a targeted attack on social media against men over 30, ridiculing them for playing Pokemon Go whilst exercising alone.”

The police warning kicked off a debate among Go players who felt they were belittling players’ ages. One user wrote, “There was no need to single out a group like that. Rag on Pokemon Go if that’s your problem, but makes no difference if they were otherwise teenagers, or even middle aged women!!”

Screenshot of Pokemon Go players reacting to Essex Police warning.

Fans also felt the game was being singled out, as many pointed out they use Go to exercise. “Did no one tell the police that Pokemon Go is an app designed to encourage Pokemon fans to go outside and exercise?” one Trainer said. Another replied, “Someone playing on their own while walking, I’m not sure what the problem is or why that’s different to someone walking and texting.”

Screenshot of Pokemon Go players reacting to Essex Police on Reddit.

Due to the district having exercise zones, players were confused as to why the game was being singled out. For millions of Go users, the mobile app is how they work out.

At the time of writing, the social media account for the Essex police have taken down the post. However, the message quickly spread on many forums, leaving many Pokemon fans upset.