Youngsters are being warned not to risk their lives by capturing virtual Pokémon characters on the edge of a cliff in South Tyneside.
Groups of youngsters have been spotted along the cliff at Marsden in South Shields while playing the popular Nintendo game Pokemon Go which encourages players to walk around with their mobiles to snare the virtual cartoon creatures.
A number of the virtual characters are lurking on safety barriers at the cliff tops off Coast Road in Marsden - meaning players are encouraged to leave the safety of the public path.
The Marsden Grotto pub is also home to a Pokémon Gym - which has seen players gather outside as they let their characters compete in battles.
Fire chiefs are urging kids, and adults who are also fans of the game, to take care.
Adrian Jackson. Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s station manager for the South Tyneside district, said: “In recent days there’s been a number of youngsters spotted in the area playing the game.
The cliff tops are a dangerous place to be.Adrian Jackson
“The cliff tops are a dangerous place to be and we want to make them aware of this.”
He added: “We know there are characters which can be found to the left and the right of the pub on the safety railings. This means children will be going right to the cliff’s edge.
“We also know that the software used in the game can be at times outdated and costal erosion is an ongoing issue. Where the game implies it’s safe to stand, may not necessarily be the case.”
Fire crews have carried out a number of patrols since the start of the school holidays.
Mr Jackson said: “We have been out on a couple of runs and talking to the children we’ve spotted to warn them of the dangers.
“It’s the start of the summer holidays and this game is very popular but we don’t want to see any accidents happening.”
South Tyneside council is also stressing the importance of online safety for those playing the game.
Councillor Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “Pokémon Go is a popular phenomenon but it is important to remind people to use the app safely.
“People should be aware at all times of their personal safety while out and about enjoying the game.
“We would also encourage people to follow the simple rules about online safety when sharing information on the app.”