New York bans registered sex offenders from Pokémon GO

57 Pokémon characters were found outside 100 homes of registered sex offenders on probation or parole in the city of New York.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A woman plays the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon GO by Nintendo

The New York government will prevent nearly 3,000 registered sex offenders on parole from playing mobile game Pokémon GO in an attempt to safeguard children from possible assaults.

Even though the game has become so popular, New York governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New York Department of Corrections to ban access to the game as well as several others, the governor’s office said in a statement.

"Protecting New York's children is priority number one and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don't become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims," the statement read.

Spanish police pose with Pokémon GO figures in this handout picture provided by the Spanish Interior Ministry on July 18, 2016

Cuomo also wrote a letter to software developer Niantic, Inc. on Monday requesting their help in making sure Pokémons will not pop up anywhere near an offender’s home .

"The state has taken action to prohibit sex offenders from using this game, but we need your assistance to make certain that sex offenders will not continue to use Pokémon GO by technologically barring their use," he said in the letter.

Pokémon GO has attracted 21 million active US users so far after it was launched in July.

Pokémon GO Craze Hits New York City on July 25, 2016 in New York City

A feature of the game that requires a fee to access specific locations is one of those suspicious that predators could abuse in order to reach their cause, Cuomo said.

According to two New York senator’s investigation, 57 Pokémon characters were found outside 100 homes of registered sex offenders on probation or parole whose crimes involved child abuse or possession of child pornography in the city of New York.

Since 2008, New York sex offenders have been required to register all email accounts and Internet identities with the state criminal justice services.

More than two dozen social networking companies is given the list on a weekly basis in order to purge offenders from their membership.

TRTWorld and agencies