Spanish police have been forced to issue guidelines on how to safely play Pokémon GO as the augmented reality game sweeps across Spain.
In a campaign targeting hunters of the virtual cartoon monsters, police advice gamers to remember that “the real world” includes obstacles such “pedestrian crossings, traffic lights, street furniture – don’t be the cause, or the victim, of an accident”.
“Remember it is absolutely prohibited to play Pokémon while driving or cycling,” the guidelines state.
— Policía Nacional (@policia) July 18, 2016
They also warn against trespassing on private property or walking along busy roads.
The campaign was launched by Spain’s National Police just hours after officers had to rescue a Japanese couple who had wandered into a busy motorway tunnel in Barcelona in search of Pokémon.
Meanwhile in Madrid two men, both 25, were arrested just before dawn on Monday after they entered a Civil Guard barracks in a bid to capture a rare monster.
Police warned players that the use of GPS technology for the game means users' location is visible to others, potentially making them vulnerable to muggings or theft, as well as signalling when they are not at home.
Pokémon Go, the smartphone-based version of the classic 1990s game, became available in Spain on Friday, July 15th, and has already amassed huge popularity.
Spain’s parks and city spaces as well as most famous tourist sites have been awash with gamers gripping their smart phones and making the tell-tale swiping movements as they seek out Pokémon and his monster friends.