Pokemon Go: Residents call police as Rhodes swamped

Pokémon Go players claim they have been moved on by police and threatened with fines on Tuesday night, after a large crowd flocked to a park in Rhodes.

Peg Paterson Park has attracted players in great numbers, with three Pokéstops intersecting at the location. 

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Pokemon Go players swarm Rhodes

Peg Paterson Park in Sydney's west has been taken over by crowds of obsessed Pokemon Go players drawn to the hotspot to hunt for the digital critters.

Areas with a concentration of Pokéstops - the game's landmark-based locations that provide items and experience points - are favoured by players looking to maximise their progress.

But residents in the quiet waterside suburb are fighting back, with one telling Fairfax Media overnight that there was "complete chaos" and "massive levels of noise"  after midnight. 

Brittany Kury and Sarah Westbrook chasing Pokemon characters at Peg Paterson park in Rhodes.
Brittany Kury and Sarah Westbrook chasing Pokemon characters at Peg Paterson park in Rhodes. Photo: Peter Rae

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said:  "About midnight [Tuesday night], police came making a number of bookings for unauthorised parking on the roads - double parking.

"This playground is supposed to be for the kids. Yesterday people were hanging on those devices designed for kids to enjoy.


"It's becoming an activity which, if I as an individual wanted to hold - such as a birthday party - I would have to get council approval."

There were also reports of residents waterbombing Pokemon Go players and there have been complaints about rubbish being left behind.

Daront searches for Pokemon characters at Peg Paterson park in Rhodes.
Daront searches for Pokemon characters at Peg Paterson park in Rhodes. Photo: Peter Rae

Users have taken to Facebook and Reddit to organise and advise other players, with groups and subreddits dedicated to finding the best locations to play the game.

Pokemon Go fans meet at the Opera House on Sunday.
Pokemon Go fans meet at the Opera House on Sunday. Photo: Peter Rae

It is also possible for a player to add a "lure module" to a Pokéstop, which attracts monsters to the area, benefiting all other users nearby.

Park areas, especially those with information signs along walking paths, seem to have some of the better concentration of the in-game landmarks, which are tied to those in the real world.

One of park's new-found guests had bought a new jacket to brave the cold winds - just so he could play Pokemon Go for longer.

"We didn't know [the game] would be this big," he said. "This is the best place to find Pokemon.

"It's all over Facebook - the groups, the pages."

Pokémon Go has seen a massive uptake since being released a week ago, already overtaking Twitter in daily active users in the US.

Canada Bay deputy mayor Helen McCaffrey told the Herald that the council had rostered extra rangers and undertaken extra waste collection to deal with the influx of players at Rhodes.

"The new game provides a wonderful opportunity for people to enjoy the parks, foreshore and other open areas around the City of Canada Bay in a fun, interactive way but we ask people to do this in a safe, considerate manner," she said.

"Our first concern is for people's safety, staying alert  to their local surroundings: look where they are walking, check for traffic before crossing roads and practice pedestrian safety.

"When playing  Pokémon Go, we ask that people do this with consideration to where they are: in residential areas, keep noise levels to a minimum and bin any rubbish."

NSW Police have been running a social media campaign warning of the impact the game could have, and said it was a message of safety.

"New South Wales Police Force has been posting messages via our social media platforms since Friday 8 July 2016 and reposting throughout the weekend," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

"This has been encouraging people to be aware of their surroundings and not compromise your safety when playing this game."

Sportsbet has opened a market on the location in which Pokemon Go will first be banned in Australia.  The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is the favourite.