POKEMON Go players have been banned from using Barry Cemetery amid complaints.
Barry Town Council has barred gamers from using the burial ground, also known as Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery, after ‘level five’ gamers discovered it was a gym site.
The game, developed by Niantic, allows players to use their phone's GPS to scour the streets for hundreds of ‘pocket monsters’ in real-life locations.
Gym sites act as areas where players can battle each other and train the virtual creatures.
Pokemons can be found near the cemetery’s chapel and pond, according to users.
But now, the town council has taken legal and asked Niantic Labs to remove them from the site.
Acting town clerk Angie Norman said: “The cemetery is a place of quiet reflection and remembrance for those to mourn their loved ones and not for computer gamers.
“Notices have now been placed on the cemetery gates advising that Pokemon gamers are prohibited from the cemetery and anyone found to be doing so will be asked to leave.”
Some say the game encourages people to become more active, but others claim using venues such as the cemeteries shows disrespect.
Lyndsay Ellis, principal director at the Vale Funeral Service, and Barry resident Bryan Foley both said many people had been witnessed playing the game at the cemetery.
Mr Foley, also expressed concerns over a similar situation at the cenotaph on Gladstone Road and sea-farers memorial on Barry Waterfront, but said he felt it may encouraged some players to explore the significance of the landmarks.
The cemetery, in his view though, is a different matter.
“It’s disrespectful, badly managed, and typically American," he added.
Friends of Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery chairman, councillor Nic Hodges said: “The cemetery is held in high regard and affection by local people. I just don't think a cemetery is a suitable place for an online game in which you capture creatures in a fantasy world. I don't want to see people running around the cemetery looking for Pokemon when a funeral is happening.”
And Barry-based reverend Peter Taylor said he thought a more suitable setting would be better.
One player, wanting to remain anonymous, took the opposite view however.
She said: “Honestly, it's a game. It's getting people out of the house and walking. It is making groups of people come together and work together to take over gyms and it's a conversation starter. What could honestly happen from it being a Pokémon gym?”