Pokemon Go players hamper search for missing woman - volunteer

Pokemon Go players hamper search for missing woman - volunteer

A search volunteer says Pokémon Go players could be hampering efforts to find a missing Upper Hutt woman.

Police, Land Search and Rescue teams and community volunteers are out in force in the fourth day of searching for 62-year-old Mary Berrington.

Daniel Talbot, who has helped organise local volunteers, says people in public places playing the mobile game Pokémon Go might be destroying the scent of Ms Berrington.

"Police don't want people to be walking around parks and things like that at the moment, because they're using their dogs, they don't want to destroy any scent there may be," he says.

"We are dealing with a lot of Pokémon Go players, unfortunately, that have been out here as well, so I think that's made things harder.

"A lot of people out at all kinds of hours of the night - you actually see them at Maidstone Park at one or two o'clock in the morning."

There's been inclement weather in Wellington over the past 24 hours and grave fears are held for Ms Berrington's safety.

Today searchers will look around the Hutt River, and teams will be visiting properties in the suburbs surrounding Ms Berrington's home on Fergusson Drive which were inaccessible yesterday.

Police are again calling on the public to report any sightings of woman matching her description in the Upper Hutt area.

She is 168cm tall, of solid build with short brown and grey hair, and police believe she may be in an anxious state.

As search efforts continue police are also asking homeowners in Upper Hutt to search their properties and check out-buildings, garages and any areas where a person could seek shelter.

Any sightings of Ms Berrington can be reported to Upper Hutt Police on 04 527 2300.