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back to article Welsh couple cop Mosquito flak

A Welsh couple who installed a Mosquito device outside their house have found themselves at the centre of the ethical debate on the youth-repelling gadget. Colin Martin installed the Compound Security device, which uses high-pitched noise to stop teenagers hanging around, after suffering all manner of abuse. The teens smashed …

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Anonymous Coward

If he sounded a fog horn...

If he sounded a fog horn, he'd be arrested for disturbing the peace.

My suggestions to anyone that has problem with these devices, is they take a fog horn and set it off inside any shop, retailer, or through the letter box of anyone that uses them.

If it's fair for them to target you, it's fair for you to target them. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

See how many shops appreciate you setting off fog horns in their store to drive away their customers, when they set off these mosquito devices in the street outside to drive away children. They have no special claim to that street, yet they think it's already to sonic-attack people? Well if it is then its fair to sonic-attack their customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Local police can do little to help, as the youths simply hide when they turn up.

Can they not look at the footage from the "vandalised ... security camera he fitted to gather evidence"? Or fingerprints perhaps? Any of the usual crime stopping antics that the police are famed for?

Perhaps that should have read "Local police can do little to help, as they don't give a shit"?

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Leaving himself wide open...

... to a claim under the tort of nusiance. Although it's not audible to 100% of people, it's qualitatively no different to having loud music playing. I look forward to the first court case on this....

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If you want to know what it sounds like

There are audio samples here: http://www.teenbuzz.org/

Of course, the usual caveats apply that your headphones, sound card and general audio setup may not faithfully reproduce them, even before they get to your ears, so YMMV as usual.

Have fun.

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Nuisance

I can't see how this can't be classed as a "nuisance" - after all, that's the resin d'être of the device!

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Anonymous Coward

@ JonB

"Local police can do little to help, as they don't give a shit" - Agree 100%. Would it be beyond Plod's deductive powers to sit in Mr Martin's house (in plain clothes perhaps?) for a few hours to catch these little shits in the act? Screw the cost. No wonder people end up taking the law into their own hands. The fact that he only bought a Mosquito shows remarkable restraint.

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Anonymous Coward

Advice

Stop fucking arguing with your neighbours, make friends and tell the kids to find somewhere else to hang-out. The kids sound far more interesting than this miserable, whiny old git.

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Gold badge

@JonB

Yup, I thought that.

What's the use of a DNA database, ID cards, CCTV cameras et. al. when all a criminal has to do to completely foil a police investigation is to hide in that brief period while the rozzers are spending the bare minimal amount of effort actually looking for him?

Just think how different the Afghan campaign would have been had it been run by the police rather than the army: "We've identified that Mr Bin Laden is in the Tora Bora caves. Unfortunately he's hiding in there, so we're powerless to do anything about it."

Looks like "not fit for purpose" affects all the tentacles of the Home Office, not just the Whitehall bit.

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Flame

Antisocial Behaviour

Some kind of action on noise nuisance is long overdue:

- Builders or other workmen who play the BBC's monument to mindlessness (aka Radio 2) or similar.

- Defective car or house alarms that go off again and again and again.

- Pubs/etc that regularly play electronically-amplified noise without proper soundproofing.

- And now, it seems, this "mosquito".

These things can blight a significant area, and the whole lives of people affected. Isn't it time we introduced some remedy? How about a legal order covering Antisocial Behaviour, and requiring a perpetrator to stop?

Oh wait ... what we need is someone to take this seriously.

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Anonymous Coward

@JonB

Don't be silly, they're too busy hiding in horse boxes giving out speeding tickets...

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Paris Hilton

He is lucky he is not my neigbour

Despite being nearly 40 I can happily hear 18KHz+. So anyone trying to deploy one of these will be on the receiving end of some lawyers.

As far as the police not giving a damn this is fairly common. The problem with policying is that it can be applied if the offenders are a very small minority. If the offenders are a majority as is the case in many areas the police cannot do didly squat.

Now why the offenders are a majority is a completely different story. I tend to go on holiday to places where very few British go and frankly observing and comparing British and other EU kids makes a very sad comparison. Compared to his peers from the continent an average British teenager is an aggressive neurotic wreck that has to vent its anger and stress all the time on something. It is really sad to look and compare.

Also the way there is a very clear proven link between stress levels and obesity. While there are many other factors you can hardly see a child from a country which starts school at the age of 7 that is obese. The earlier you go from that the more common are children that are easier to jump over than walk around and UK along with the only other EU country to start at the age of 4 clearly lead there.

I wish there was a pictuire of whoever is the relevant minister in charge of education at the moment with horns but as there is not Paris will do instead. She probably has more common sense than the whole UK school system combined.

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Linux

Anti-social behaviour

Most teens who hang-out are doing just that, the problem is that some just want to start trouble. This coupled with the fact that thier parents don't try to instill any social skills and the law will protect them to the detriment of the rest of society.

Back home if you are walking down the road and a teenager it yelling and cursing at you, you walk away. If he follows you can request him to stop. If he keeps getting on like that if you hit him the cops will not press charges as it is his own fault. That is not to state you can kick the sh!t out of the teenager but you can take necessary means to make him stop. This happened to me. I was walking with some friends and these teenagers decided to throw snowballs at us and curse. We walked on and they followed. I requested they stop and one came over and started to get in my face. Wehn I requested stop again and tried to move, he moved to stay in my face. I hit him once and he went down. He then proceeded to go home and tell his brother (a good friend of mine). He called and stated he would go to the police. I informed him to go and stated I would meet him there. When the story came out the police opinion was the teenager was stupid and should have left it alone when he had the chance.

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The solution to the Mosquito

Is to make them unnecessary.

If the police could actually do something about the feral youth then no one would actually need a device to drive them away from their property.

Or alternatively if home owners could legally do anything to deter the feral youth other than install a noise making device then I'm sure they would.

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Unhappy

"Local police can do little to help"...

as they have given up on the idea of having control of the areas they police.

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Fair retailiation: A step-by-step guide.

1) Buy, beg or borrow an SPL meter.

2) Find out exactly how loud that mosquito actually is.

3) Line up speakers at his house.

4) Fire pounding drill 'n' bass nonsense at him at an equivalent volume.

Job's a good 'un.

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Whadda ya mean ?

No offence committed ? What crap !

It's a statutory nuisance, plain and simple. There is ample care lore to show that lesser nuisances have landed the owners in trouble, so I can't see why this is different.

In my home town, we have an old clock tower - which has chimed the quarters for as long as I've lived here (over 20 years). Not long ago, some incomer moved in, and then complained about it - in spite of the protests from longer term residents of the town, the clock was silenced under threat of costly legal action. Personally I think we should have banded together than "persuaded" the incomer to change her mind.

So if it's OK to complain about a noise which was there before you moved in, why isn't it OK to complain about a deliberate nuisance created after you moved in ?

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Stop

re. Advice

"... tell the kids to find somewhere else to hang-out."

I'm afraid that's the kind of advice that'll get you into casualty or worse. I'm guessing that these type of comments come from people who have little experience of living on a sink estate, in the last ten years say.

These aren't the kind of middle class teens with parents who care about their behaviour that you may have experience of. They "know" that you, as a law abiding citizen, can't "tell" them to do anything. You can't threaten them in any way as you are likely to be arrested for using "threatening behaviour"; UK teens are the most violent in Europe because they have rights without any responsibilities.

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@AC (different AC...)

As current laws stand, excessive noise is not a criminal matter so the police *can't* do anything other than have a word with the guy. If he knows the law - and in this case it sounds like he does - then there is absolutely nothing the PCs can do to prevent it. Nothing.

Believe me, I spent several months of hell living next to a chav who regularly had parties until 5am. The police were called out several times, and all they could do was warn him. As long as he behaved when they were there, they couldn't do anything. This little shit had obviously been through this all before and knew all the loopholes.

Noisy neighbours is a matter for the council and then onto civil proceedings. Don't have a go at the police about it - annoyingly they have to work within laws they have no control over. I've found that every one I've ever dealt with will do their damndest to find ways around that and to cover as many bases as they can but in the end their hands are tied by ridiculous policy in the UK.

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Bronze badge

Re: Advice (by AC)

Whiny old git ?? You try exercising restraint when you're being terrorised by local ASBO candidates - here's hoping you get the opportunity.

Cock.

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@Nick Kew - Antisocial Behaviour

Can we add wind chimes to your list?

I'm a peacable kind of guy, but there's something about the pointless random twinkling of wind chimes that drives me absolutely fucking nuts.

What kind of selfish bastard hangs them up? Their only purpose is to make an annoying noise and they do it all the time, even when the person who put them up isn't there.

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Anonymous Coward

"Local police can do little to help"

Don't forget this is Wales - they're too busy hiding in horseboxes to catch motorists.

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Thumb Down

Think of the children

I truly hate these things. I'm still able to hear at these frequencies (in my early 20s), and whenever I'm near one it's like having an itch inside my brain.

There is one on a corner shop near my home, and when I trudge home from work in the evening I dread passing it because I know it'll make me squirmy and uncomfortable.

So I say ban the device. If it's affecting the nicer kids in the neighbourhood (and yes, you can still find nice kids) then it really is unfair on them to put up with this.

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Coat

@TeeCee

"We've identified that Mr Bin Laden is in the Tora Bora caves. Unfortunately he's hiding in there, so we're powerless to do anything about it."

So far, I'm failing to spot any difference between the police and armed forces.

Or did I miss something?

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Unhappy

Quiet Enjoyment.

Across the road from me there is a family which has 4 boys aged 9 to 16, they have thier friends round to play in their own garden, much to the anger of a recent pensioner arrival in our street , she has been talking about getting "one of those devices that scare kids off", well honey let me tell you something. The minute that affects a young visitor to MY home, or seems to interfere with one of my pets I will be proceeding against her for interfering with MY "right to quiet enjoyment" of my home - yep that is actually a legal "expectation", by affecting visitors to my home or my pets hereshe will give me cause for legal action - it may even be possible to cite this as "anti social behaviour"

We have reached a stage in some areas where an anal and vocal minority have decided that no noise is permissible and children should be seen and not heard 24/7, which is ludicrous. If this device affects the lads across the road in thier own garden I will be pointing the parents in the direction of a solicitor. IMHO one person expecting the whole world to live by "do as I tell you" is easily as anti social as a kid smashing up call boxes. Quite a lot of this demonisation of kids/teens is down to press hysteria mixed with the usual assortment of busybodies who really should be concentrating on washing those twitching net curtains to keep them whiter than white!

The whole Anti social behaviour thing seems to be being used as a club to beat anyone who doesnt conform to age 35 white middle class standards of behaviour... an unreasonable expectation for 15 year olds doing exactly what my generation did at age 15... hanging round on on the streets with our mates. They have a right to free association and movement in this country, although you wouldnt believe it in what seems to be becoming a police state.

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Stop

Stuff

@Simon -

There is no *offence* being committed. It is a civil matter as your example clearly shows.

@Advice -

Please come round to my place and tell these little thugs to move on. Let me get my hose out first so I can clear the blood from the pavement though. Don't you know that these thugs KILL people who upset them. Little darlings. :(

Looks to me like there are two bunches of a*holes here. The local police who have abandoned that area to the feral youfs & the feral youfs themselves. Perhaps if the neighbourhood banded together they could solve the problem themselves. But no then the usually law abiding (and motorists, don't forget the motorists) will be pounced upon by the local police in protection of the unfortunate and grossly misunderstood children. Please remember that the law abiding are so much *easier* to nick than dangerous hoodies.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Cris Page

I think every reasonable person would agree that a local curtain twitcher installing a mosquito because kids are playing loudly in a nearby garden is a grievous over-reaction to a non existant problem.

However, in the article, these kids aren't "playing loudly" - they're violent little vandals in desperate need of a sound kicking and good parenting. Short of that, installing a mosquito does not seem innappropriate.

The solution, of course, as another poster has eloquently pointed out, is to make these devices unnecessary... "If the police could actually do something about the feral youth then no one would actually need a device to drive them away from their property."

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Linux

valid points

There have been two valid points stated in the above messages.

First these teenagers and sometimes younger have all kinds of rights but absolutely no responsibility.

Second is that not all kids are trying to cause trouble. The local shop to me usually has some kids hanging around. they may get a bit noisy at times but they are teenagers. Problem is some of them think that you should respect them even though they have done nothing to deserve it. This is part the kids fault, part the parents, and a whole lot the fault of the gov't and those stupid little lobby groups.

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Anonymous Coward

If that were my neighbor

I'd simply play a 1Khz square sine wave when he was trying to sleep until he turned that garbage off. If 18Khz is the freq. of this thing, then I'd be able to hear it and would be more than happy to add to this gent's foray into the musical world. While the kids in question need to find something better to do, if it's anything like here in the states, I understand. Too many civil statutes against skating and boarding in any public area (please... kids aren't running over everyone just minding their business). There's a point where parks are designed for little kids and parents and clubs for adults. There needs to be a few places in-between this for teens to hang out at. They're too big for swings and slides and not old enough to drink at the pub and drive home drunk.

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Silver badge

A technical solution

Following on from the previous foghorn comments, perhaps what is needed is a small box with a microphone and suitable filters that detect when he's turned the device on and activate a foghorn, which is directional (as much as they can be) and pointed at his house.

However, what he really needs is a decent police response, or in the absence of that, to invite some of his large mates round so that next time there's trouble they can go out and sort out the miscreants properly.

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g e
Silver badge

Two birds, one stone... in an ideal world ?

To @AC (different AC...)

Next time you ring the police say you think they're dealing drugs to and having sex with underage-ers. Just an honest mistaken impression on your part ;o) Don't forget to change your impression from time to time to include knives and 'talking about explosives'

Two birds with one stone:

Force the chavs to watch their parents having the holy fuck beaten out of them (prefably by people with military 'interrogation' training) as an example of what will happen to them next time. Parents will tell the kids to stop fking around and the kids won't want to spend that long in hospital. Then fine the parents to cover the hospital bill.

Anyone else notice the rise of the chav since capital punishment ended in schools around 20 yrs ago? A good thrashing from time to time obviously DID work. Mind you, we were more constructive in our mischief back then .. hehe

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Pirate

Have you been harrassed????

From BITTER experience I would have bought one of these if I could have afforded one before I moved 2 years ago.

We were targetted by "yoofs" with hoodies and when we complained to the parents were got targetted by them as well as theior retarded little shits. I complained to the police and they said that unless we could identify them, they knew we couildn't because of the hoodies, then they would act. They advised on CCTV but then said that it showed too much of the road so I couldn't use it. We had things thrown at the house and car but couldn't do anything because we couldn't see their retarded little faces. I offered to catch one for the police but was told that I WOULD be done for assaulting a minor and then that would put my job at risk due to being CRB checked.

The little arseholes won and we moved. I haven't fogot and revenge will be served in ice.

If YOU complain about a neighbours mosquito then maybe YOU should help sort out the shitbags responsible rather than added to the poor persons problems by complaining about their only method of defense.

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@ g e

"...CAPITAL punishment at school" - no wonder they didn't misbehave ever again!

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Mosquito specs

It might help if a few of the objectors looked up the specs of the Mosquito. It is designed to monitor background sound levels and operate at 5 dB above this. For those of you wanting to make it a public nuisance this is going to be a problem since you are left with the issue that any repetitive noise 5 dB background is going to be a public nuisance.

In an example given earlier of a pensioner objecting to children playing. They are clearly going to be rather noisier compared to background than a Mosquito device.

This reduces the argument against the device to be simply about how annoying it is and not sure how far you will get with that. I shall be watching with interest.

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@g e

"Anyone else notice the rise of the chav since capital punishment ended in schools around 20 yrs ago?"

Good god. I knew you Brits were harsh, but execution seems a little tough for schoolkids.

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Anonymous Coward

@JonB

Since El Reg has a definite DK fanbase as proved by previous articles, I'm sure the following quote would be appropriate

"Oh the left newspapers might whine a bit, but the cops in the station, they don't give a shit"

:-)

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Dead Vulture

Breaking and entering

"The teens smashed windows, climbed onto his house and vandalised the security camera he fitted to gather evidence."

Sounds like a case of defending his house against a burglar...if they are dead iside the house when the police show up, you were just defending your home.

Did any of you read the article, or just want to jump on him for defending himself?

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Paris Hilton

@ g e

" Anyone else notice the rise of the chav since capital punishment ended in schools around 20 yrs ago? "

I do vaguely remember seeing the nooses hanging up in the sports hall but I never knew the teachers ever carried their threats of "i'll kill you little bastards" out!

Paris as she deserves a noose more than i ever did

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This is ingenious

I had honestly not heard of this device before. A bit of googling seems to show it's limited to the UK at the moment? (which is surprising to me, as we have loads of obnoxious, loitering teenagers here in the States). I couldn't find what it's effect on pets is though. Anyone know/have experience? Would not be worth it to me if it were upsetting to man's best friend...

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Flame

18kHz?

Posting anonymously on this occasion...

I'm 30. I just went onto that teenbuzz site. I can hear the 22kHz tone.

Ok, my PC's sound system is a bit OTT (SPDIF output to Arcam Black Box 50 DAC, Technics amplifier and Celestion 1 speakers wired with silver cable) but I can clearly hear a 22kHz tone.

The 18kHz tone is far more annoying. Anyone putting a Mosquito device near me will find it smashed to pieces. And I'm not an anti-social git, I'm a law-abiding citizen and I don't wish to have my ears assaulted.

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Gold badge

Re: Advice

Telling the kids to hang out elsewhere has been tried before, see Gary Newlove. He got kicked to death.

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Alert

WAKE UP BUZZ

They had one mounted next to a large Subway Station ( Zuidplein, Rotterdam, The netherlands. ) They had to remove it because it afected more ppl then the " targeted audience " and to top that off. People seem to get somewhat agressive by repeated noises. ( who would have guessed. ). Guess the thing has some pro's ( which? anyone ) and Cons.. ( agressive youghts and anyone with an able hearing wanting to tear it off the wall and more nasty's allready posted.

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Flame

Stop! What's that sound?

Sounds like an approaching ASBO....

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a perfect case

for Taser inc's shotgun shell devices, or an automatic paintball gun with capsaicin powder balls.

People seem to think that "freedom" means you can threaten and destroy other people's stuff because you're "young". Well, true freedom means you can, but also means that other people are free to defend themselves.

But the anarcho-socialists only want the thugs, vandals, and crooks to have true freedom. They hate it when you try to balance it out with freedom for the working man, the taxpayer, the stay at home moms and the law abiding citizen. That's the true cause of the culture of fear.

Me, I prefer the electronic triggered paintball gun, firing 3 round bursts, with solid rubber 68 cal paintballs moving at just under 300fps. Stings like hell and is non-lethal. If some @sshat vandal or thug decides to keep coming after that little warning, then we step up to .45 caliber copper and lead pushed by gunpowder once the perp crosses the threshold uninvited.

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Happy

Re: If that were my neighbour

A 1 kHz square wave is indeed incredibly annoying. Try one for yourself here:

http://binkster.net/extras.shtml

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Unhappy

@Simon

Actually, you'd have to get someone from the council to come and listen to the mosquito to see if it was a statutory nuisance first, and if he was anything like the guy that they sent round to my house about the astro-turf pitch opposite me where I have to put up with around 40 hours of crashing, banging, swearing, footballs hitting my house/car/windows (oh, and thats before you count the hours that the kids are at school...), then he probably wouldn't be able to hear it - remember, it's only a nuisance if they can hear it, not what the meter says! The decision on whether it is a nuisance is up to the person, not a set of levels written down anywhere, so I suspect that if you had wanted to fight it, then there would have been little legal recourse for your err... incomer, shall we say...

Still, keep smiling all - I'm away from home this week, under the flight path to Leeds-Bradford Airport, in the middle of all the student accommodation, and the peace from that damn football is fantastic! (That wasn't sarcasm, for those of you who would like to live with 40+hrs a week of football going on outside your front door...)

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Paris Hilton

Not a new problem

Through the time I was in my 20s, I used to encounter some department stores which had not turned off the ultrasonic motion detectors, though the alarms were not armed. In some cases, I was given a terrible headache if I tried to stay. I resorted to asking them to turn them off, if they wanted my business.

Putting such sounds out where non-offending youths will also be affected is clearly not the right answer. If I were a neighbour, he'd have a fight with me on that point.

Probably lodging a government case against the local police would be better.

If that failed, then he should go buy some goslings from a local farmer so, when they grow up, he'll have 20-30 lb winged attack dogs. He can then disclaim responsibility for any broken limbs the teenage ne'er-do-wells suffer as a result.

Paris because she would think the geese were cute...until they attacked her.

Cheers,

Matthew

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Anonymous Coward

I'm 45 and I can hear it

Anybody sets one of these damn things up near my house well lets just say it won't stay long.

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IT Angle

Buzz off campaign

Liberty is participating in a campaign against the discriminatory aspect of the Mosquito device. More at http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/issues/young-peoples-rights/stamp-out-the-mosquito.shtml

br -d

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Pirate

in two minds about this kind of device

While i can see the point of view that it effects a kids that are not a threat/nusince/whatever, I will say that having had my own experiaces with the little shits that will brick your house/try and intimdate you just because you don't act they way they assusme everybody does (drugged up or drunk most of the time).

I really mean from the bottom of my heart "FUCK EM", if the guy only sets the thing off when they activley harrssing him, threatening him or damaging his stuff more power to him.

As for the old biddy that just wants one because kids are playing she really does need to get a life to go along with the sense of proportion that she should get.

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Flame

Effective deterrent noise-makers

I believe in some parts of 'Mer'ca they (we) have a device that scares away people smashing windows, attacking video cameras, and climbing on roofs by making a sharp, metallic, "clack-clack" noise.

Of course, it comes with downsides. It kills babies and tortures nuns while you're away at work. A cost for everything, I suppose.

[Fire because some days it sounds like Rome over here (there).]

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