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Pokemon Go finally lands in the UK despite calls from NSPCC to delay release

NSPCC wanted the UK release of Pokemon Go delayed but it has gone ahead anyway / Pokemon

Pokemon Go has finally landed in the UK, debuting on the Apple App Store and Google Play a few days after it was first launched in other countries around the world.

The game's release comes despite calls from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to introduce safety features before making it available to UK users.

The charity said yesterday (13 July) that the game had "overlooked" basic safety standards to prevent children coming to harm.

The augmented reality game, which allows users to 'collect' virtual Pokemon in their local area and 'battle' with other Pokemon at select landmarks, saw its global rollout paused earlier this week in some markets because its servers were unable to cope with demand.

While the game has been wildly popular among users and is reportedly set to leapfrog Snapchat, Tinder and Twitter in terms of subscribers, several groups have voiced safety concerns over the app.

In the US is was reported that players had become the target of armed robberies thanks to opportunistic criminals making use of the geolocation tools to 'lure' individuals straight to them.

In another instance, players following digital lures within the game were directed to a sex shop.

The NSPCC asked Nintendo to introduce safety features before the title was unveiled in the UK to prevent kids wandering into areas they shouldn't go, but the launch looks to have gone ahead without any changes.

Penning an open letter to the games giant, Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the children's charity said:

"Given Pokemon's already massive popularity with children, the NSPCC is concerned that basic safety standards appear to have been overlooked. I urge you to urgently reassess your app and its security and safety features.

"We all have a responsibility to ensure that children are protected and as creators of a game with substantive reach, you have a weighty responsibility to protect your young users."

Nintendo shares have leapt up by 50 per cent since the game's launch, and the game has topped the app store download charts in the US, Australia and New Zealand.