DOZENS of Pokemon Go players were surprised when two PCSOs cycled up to them in a park – and joined in.
A picture snapped by a member of the public shows two officers staring at their phones playing the hit game at Victoria Park, in Portsmouth, which is popular with users of the app.
The busy park is known to players in the city to have rare Pokemon and often ‘lures’ are set down which attract more of the virtual characters.
The two PCSOs had been cycling in the area when they heard there was a rare Pokemon, so stopped to try to catch it along with many others.
Over the course of 10 minutes while they were playing Pokemon Go, the officers were friendly and chatting to members of the public about the game.
Care worker Connor Paul, from Portsmouth, took the picture and said that, after around 10 minutes of playing, they cycled off.
Mr Paul, 24, said: ‘I was at Victoria Park playing Pokemon with my girlfriend.
‘At first I thought the officers were going to cycle through but they stopped when they heard there was a Bulbasaur nearby.
‘They got out their phones and they started looking around for it too.
‘They were really friendly and happy to chat to anyone. The guy next to them in the picture was next to them for the 10 minutes they were there, playing and chatting.
‘They left smiling and they looked pretty happy, so I guess they got the Pokemon they wanted.
‘Afterwards they got on their bikes again and carried on through the park. They stopped again too.’
He added: ‘I think initially a lot of people saw them coming and thought they were there to monitor people, but it turned out they play too.’
A spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said they encouraged their officers to engage within their communities and get out and about and talk to people.
She added: ‘It is an important part of neighbourhood policing so that people know we are there for them if they need us and that we are approachable.
‘Our PCSOs spend a lot of time interacting with young people to help break down any barriers, because when there is a problem young people are more likely to have the confidence to report it to someone who they trust and respect.’
Social media users said they had seen officers playing the game at the park before.