The council official who is in charge of Southend’s parks and open spaces has confirmed that POKEMON PERMITS will be issued from September 1st for anyone wishing to play Pokémon Go in Southend’s parks. 

From this date, anybody caught playing smartphone sensation Pokémon Go in Priory Park, Chalkwell Park or Southchurch Park without one of the £15 permits will be liable to a spot fine of £50. 

Henry Calgoone, the Southend Borough Council Commissioner for Parks and Parking, admitted that the decision to introduce permits was ‘regrettable but necessary.’

He said: ‘Since Pokémon Go was introduced a few weeks ago, there have been more than 170 recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour in Southend’s parks where the game has been a factor.’

‘Although many of these reported problems are minor in nature, such as a teenager accidentally stepping on a small dog, council workers have also been forced to wade into the lake at Priory Park to rescue a number of people who have ignored the presence of a large area of open water.’

‘We have been forced to regulate this activity after an elderly lady was knocked into a rose bush last week when some university students thought that a rare character had appeared.’

‘The £15 permits will be available to anyone aged 13 or over, and they will last for 12 months. A £10 discount will apply to anyone in receipt of certain benefits, and more information is available from Civic Centre.’

‘The fee includes an optional Civic Spatial Awareness Seminar – sessions will be taking place weekly at the Tickfield Centre.’

We asked Mr Calgoone about how the revenue from the permits will be used. He said that the money would form the basis of a ‘vital investment’ in local leisure provision. 

He added: ‘The under-25s in Southend are some of the least active in Britain, and our researchers are looking into the possibility of using the revenue to build a number of Pokégyms that will promote healthy living in the town.’

‘These will be priced at a similar level to other fitness centres within the borough of Southend.’