The pending release of Grand Theft Auto IV has police in Calgary, Alberta, worried that the game may end up training criminals of the future.

A report in the Calgary Sun tabloid said Calgary police spokesman Kevin Brookwell expressed concern over the desensitizing effects of violent videogames, television shows and movies on youth. “From the Calgary Police Service perspective, we see these types of videogames as a grave concern,” he said.

“Because of the lack of consequences and even reward – [youth] don’t understand the impact violence can have,” he continued. “In some cases, those very games may be training grounds for people to commit criminal activity.” Crookwell said parents must make themselves aware of the games their kids are playing through the warnings on the boxes, which provide detailed descriptions of the game’s content.

The Calgary Sun is part of the Sun Media chain of tabloid newspapers, known for its conservative stance, short, easy-to-digest articles, daily swimsuit-clad Sunshine Girls and an outstanding sports section. Grand Theft Auto IV is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB and is set for release on April 29.

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