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Britain Is Obsessed With Pokémon Go And It's Getting Out Of Hand

It launched in the UK less than a week ago and the police have already had to step in.

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Pokémon Go, the world-conquering augmented reality mobile game in which you traipse around (a real) town trying to find (imaginary) little monsters, finally launched in the UK last week. On its first weekend here it had quite an impact.

Olivia Harris / Getty Images

People have been catching them in towns and cities, in the countryside and even on top of local landmarks.

Caught a Clefairy at Arthur's Seat #Edinburgh #PokemonGO

The British may have a reputation internationally for drunken violence, but this was the scene in one town centre at 1am on Friday night.

1am Friday night. City Centre. A peaceful and happy place #PokemonGO

A London overground train station even blamed the game for delays (probably not entirely seriously).

Great sign at Dalston Kingsland station this morning #pokemongo #pokemongouk

But there have been serious incidents: On Friday night, a 15-year-old boy was arrested after three students allegedly had their phones stolen while looking for Pokémon in Hulme, an inner-city district of Manchester.

15-year-old boy arrested over 'Pokemon Go phone theft' allegation https://t.co/dgvbL4LYTQ

Derbyshire police said they spotted children playing the game near train tracks and reminded them of the dangers of 120mph trains.

Report of children on railway line at Swarkestone playing #PokemonGO. Officers attending and advised those involved about the dangers.

Do not trespass on the railway to play #PokemonGO as you risk arrest but more importantly you risk death by a 120mph train.

Police in Hampshire spotted a car being driven erratically – and slowly enough for them to see what the driver was doing.

and the first #PokemonGO related incident of the night has come in. a vehicle driving erratically and slow enough to recognise game #96364

Police in southwest London had to issue a statement pointing out that the station in Twickenham is NOT a Pokéstop (i.e. a marker in the game where players can congregate).

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Someone phoned the police because their Pokémon were "stolen".

Gloucestershire Live

The Pokémon craze found its way to Leven, in Fife, where the local police force had quite a sobering warning, written in the local vernacular.

Lookin for those Pokemon hings? Dinny be doin that at 3 in the morning in someones gairden or you'll get huckled fae us! #witsthatawaboot

And on the flipside, in Doncaster, police said Pokémon Go players actually managed to stop a crime. A group of Pokémon seekers saw a theft in progress and phoned the police, who arrived just in time to arrest the would-be thieves.

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Meanwhile, some businesses are cashing in.

PokeStop in London! 😁😁 #TeamMystic #PokemonGO

Predictably, pubs have got in on the act too.

Oh crap... The pub is a pokestop and someone has a lure on it... #PokemonGo

And it's been a positive thing for this church in Birmingham, which spotted a marketing opportunity once it became a gym (where players fight each other in the game).

Richard Vernalls / PA WIRE

Stay safe, Pokéfans.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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