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back to article Home Secretary swats away calls for Mosquito ban

A European committee is calling for a community-wide ban on the Mosquito device which gets rid of teenagers by emitting an irritating buzzing noise that older people cannot hear, even though the device has the backing of Home Secretary Alan Johnson. The Culture, Science and Education committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of …

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Unintended Targets

Unfortunately these devices are a bit hit and miss in their targeting, I'm just shy of 30 and can still hear the bloody things. If I found my council using these things I'd start asking why I'm paying council tax to have my ears assaulted.

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FAIL

I'm 44...

... and because I never blasted out my eardrums at discos etc, I can hear the damn things too.

Thank the gods there's none of them around my area, otherwise I'd be walking into shops "protected" by them and informing them that they've just lost my custom!

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Grenade

A title as relevant as chalk and chips.

I'm 49, used to blast my eardrums out at gigs by the likes of Black Sabbath, stand at the side of the strip just far enough up from the christmas tree at Santa Pod that when the top fuelers went past my undefended hearing went up the scale to where all I heard was a high pitched scream, and spent most of my life riding motorbikes without using earplugs (the one time I tried them it disoriented me so much I crashed into a Merc in the Kings Road), and _I_ can hear the fucking things

Grenade, 'cos that's what I'll go off like if they subject ME to this in public space.

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Unhappy

ASBO

Just give the shop owners an ASBO for playing loud noise with no consideration for neighbours. Or set up a counter mosquito with a sample of vicky pollards trademark phrase on loop, indefinitely.

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Unhappy

YAY!!!!

Lets use sonic weapons against our children! what could possibly go wrong!

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think of the children!

crazy idea. what about babies that taken to shops by there mothers. even if they are wearing little hoodies, they dont deserve to have this sonic weapon targeting them

im also just shy of 30, and can hear it.

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There is a nice example of this in Bristol

A friend of mine is a (probation) youth worker in Bristol, the offices where her clients are *required* to attend, are directly opposite a large supermarket which has these fitted.

So choose between suffering a persistent sonic assault or violating parole conditions, some choice!

I think these devices should be illegal, and the makers forced to compensate people who are *required* to attend areas where they are deployed.

If you want to disperse people, what's wrong with the old nightclub favorite of playing country and western music, it cleared the room in every club I've ever been in.

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Wusses

We used to play Silver Machine at max volume and fire up a pair of 500W photo-floods to clear the club - made quite a startling contrast after the gentle "last desperate snog" song.

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FAIL

Big Fail

When will they realise, like CCTV, it doesn't solve a problem, just moves it somewhere else.

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Unhappy

They don't have to

As long as said "somewhere else" is somewhere they can pretend doesn't exist, then it doesn't really matter. The problem is as solved as it needs to be .....

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Megaphone

Buzzing

Of course there's no connection between an irritating high pitched buzzing noise and the latest pronouncement from the Home Secretary, is there?

Leeds bus station used to deter troublemakers by playing loud 80s power pop in the evenings. These days they just annoy everyone by having a disembodied voice going on about CCTV and smoking.

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They are bloody annoying.

My other half is 27 and she still hears them. Its rather painful for her at the local train station.

Not to mention the poor kids who are getting headaches from it and their parents cant hear a thing. Wont someone think of the children?

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Anonymous Coward

I like

I like this

"Kids rather brilliantly reverse-engineered the noise to use as a mobile ringtone which cannot be heard by teachers and other elderly foes"

It gives me faith in the future

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Puzzling?

You've got to give the kids credit for trying, but FAIL

Phone goes "bzzzz, bzzzz" as it rings. Teacher can't hear it ring Thumbs Up!

Kid answers phone "Yo, dude, ma man"

Whack! - Teacher smacks kid for talking on phone in class, and as it didn't ring, teacher has to assume the kid made the call instead of receiving it.

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Boffin

Brilliant if true.

Does the mobile's speaker output at such frequencies? Would be bad construction.

Just like a phoneline cuts off low frequencies (e.g. cat's purr) as that's mostly background noise.

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FAIL

Get with it...

Kids don't use phones for TALKING anymore.

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Grenade

Dont make me laugh

Fuck the children - theres a news story just broke about a 68 year old who collapsed and died after being abused by 'children' - I agree with the European arseholes - remove the device and arm the shopkeepers with Uzi's - and please for the love of <insert name of favorite invisible friend here> stop breeding - millions of years people have been breeding, its no longer considered to be a 'clever' trick!

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It sounds like ... the future

I can see why you'd want to remain anonymous with attitudes like these.

Obviously, it does no good to treat your young people as vermin. If you have a graffiti problem, why not provide them with something positive to do instead?

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Fail.

"If you have a graffiti problem, why not provide them with something positive to do instead?"

It's not everyone elses' job to provide youths with "something to do" to stop them stabbing each other, spraying stuff with paint and murdering elderly people. It's not that they have nothing to do, the problem is they're little fuckers. Bring 'em up properly, stop trying to fob the job onto everyone else.

Parenting Fail.

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It's The Only Future I See...

At this rate anyway, everybody is quick to scream 'think of the kids' and "don't assault the kids with sonic weapons"(which i have to say is THE most overly dramatic thing i've heard in ages).

I just wonder if the angel kids give absolutely any shit at all about the peoples lives they ruin with there abuse and violence? not to mention the areas that get run down and turned to shit because they think its the height of brilliance to stand around smashing bottles, riding dirt bikes up the road whilst simultaneously smoking, taking drugs and leaving used condoms all over.

Sure lets not treat the like vermin, the day a story breaks about a guy who collapsed on his own front door step after being abused for months by complete dicks, or the guy who died after having his head stamped on for having the bare faced cheek to go and tell a group of kids to stop smashing up his car.

"What about the police" people say........well what we'll do there is create a society that has gone about actively stripping them of every power to even touch the little arseholes let alone arrest them, now the kids fear no-one, and lets face it the parents of most of these horrible shites couldn't care less. We'll give them ASBO's that they'll collect as a badge of honour (just like the kid who stabbed Joseph Lapin). We'll send them to youth hostels and young offenders prisons which are like holiday camps where they can play on PS3's or go on skiing trips.

The problem we have these days is everyone is so concerned with this set of rights and that set of rights that we have become a society of pansies, constantly living in fear of upsetting someone and being sued, or touching a child for fear of being labeled a paedophile. We need to get back to how it was before the kids ran the show, can anyone say that this sort of behaviour would have been tolerated by your parents parents?? No because they would have got a good hiding without the fear of some sweater vest wearing councill employee coming around to tell them the optimum way to raise their child.

I'll finish by saying that my name is Jamie Forder, i'm not the original poster of the comment you replied to but i am in no way ashamed of my attitudes in the slightest, i'll never say any less to anyone who asks. You say give them give something more "positive" to do..... i say give it to them when the bloody deserve it. If they show respect to other people and other peoples property then fine, give em what they need. If not fuck 'em, they made their bed, so they can lie in it. They should just count themselves lucky that someone, somewhere hasn't snapped at the youths in their local area and took it further because if they did, a headache would be the least of their worries!!

It's time people woke up and saw just what carnage some of these kids are ACTUALLY causing!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It's The Only Future I See...

Thanks, Jamie. That was enlightening.

I think the point being made about the Mosquito is that it is indiscriminate and treats *all* of a certain group as a nuisance and potential threat, regardless of the individual's characteristics. But clearly you're a man who understands all about that.

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Coat

Re: Dont make me laugh

You should note the heavy sarcastic tones of his post. It wasn't meant to be taken seriously I'll wager! ;o)

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Anonymous Coward

Holiday camps?

Jeez, your head must make a hollow echo!

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Anonymous Coward

Alan Johnson deaf

I'm sure if *he* could hear the sound then it would be banned. But if it's a violation of their human rights, it means that anyone who deploys these are open to lawsuits.

So sue their asses.

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No Mention Of...

...sound pressure levels, but these would be dangerous to youngins especially.

Anyone that is exposed to this would be very likely to recover monetary damages for hearing loss. Class action, perhaps?

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Not just teenagers

The mosquito tones also affect smaller people like toddlers and babies.

These kids are not wailing and screaming for o reason, it's because it is freaking them out, the don't have the language to say what's going on and parents get concerned or just give the moaning whinging sods a slap.

Mosquito tones are indescriminate attacks on a far wider group of humans than is thought. That pepoe could consider that the tones only affect disaffected teenagers is both completely wrong and possibly against various human rights.

The tones also don't affect all teenagers in the same way - some find it annoying and others find it actually painful. Are we allowing methods banned at Guantanamo Bay to be used against our own citizens? just in the name of profit?

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Megaphone

Well said

hear hear! People talk about having them at train stations, this seems to assume all young people do there is cause trouble, of course there's no chance at all they might just want to catch a train in peace!

When will people learn to solve a problem, rather than just push it away!

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Stop

Move along now, nothing to see

"But PACE [...] reckons the "youth dispersal" devices treat young people "as if they were unwanted birds or pests"..."

So is PACE saying they aren't?

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WTF?

the other 10%?

"Interestingly the company behind the Mosquito - Compound Security Services - is not opposed to regulation; in fact it has spent the last two years trying to get the Home Office to act.

The company wants to restrict sales to police forces and local councils - which already account for 90 per cent of UK sales."

... erm, so they are currently selling these devices to non-governmental purchasers, but would really rather not be?

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More likely explanation.

They'd love to sell shiploads of them, but they want government regulations to shield them from liability for the misuses that will inevitably occur when you have enough of them in consumer hands.

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In the house of commons??

"Alan Johnson backed the use of the devices in the House of Commons in February."

Why do they want to use them in the house of commons??? Do they have a teenage loitering problem there?

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in the HOC...

...they certainly have an anti-social behaviour problem !

Nail them up ! Nail them up, I say !

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Anonymous Coward

I can hear them and I am 37

Bloody things

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Assault!

I'm 28 with Tinitus and I can not only hear the damn things but they Aggravate my Tinitus somethign AWFUL to the point the ones in the MK shopping centre give me a headache for hours after I've left the area if I have to hang around them.

If they EVERY start deploying these around my home you can fully expect me to start legal precedings as they actually cause me pain and discomfort and as far as I'm concerned are tantamount to assault.

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Boffin

What do you need the 555 for?

The TDA20xx is, to all intents and purposes, an op-amp (it just can source and sink more current than the usual LM358, and loses its gain altogether somewhere between ultrasound and LW), and so can be used as its own oscillator.

I've worked in the industry and if you *can* save a part, you *do*. Especially one that may need to be hand-stuffed.

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Stop

Just plain wrong

If I take my 2 year old anywhere near one of these things (unintentionally) and she freaks out. How on gods earth is that right.

If I find any of these near me I will complain to every single possible person about their use. BAdly thought out, indiscriminate crap.

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Megaphone

Counter-device?

Could someone build a detector for these things, preferably mounted in a baseball bat so I can smash the them to smithereens?

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Let's build our own devices of this type

and send them to legislators and local councils. Unbreakable with no off switch once exposed to light.

Will look quite like bombs I suppose, let's make them small...

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Noise Pollution

Would there be a mechanism to do current users under noise pollution regs, like you can annoying neighbours?

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Anonymous Coward

Cats

I came across a mosquito-like device in someone's front garden recently. I assume it was being used to keep cats away as the garden was mostly gravel - like a giant litter tray - and there was also a metal image of a cat. I found it annoying 100 m away so I don't suppose the neighbours enjoyed it very much. I think the device had a motion detector in it. Perhaps it was broken and would normally only make a noise when someone or something enters the garden.

Why would something like this cost £600? Typo for £60? If it's really £600 I can see why only the "authorities" buy it.

I'm over 40 so you'd have thought it might have been possible to engineer something that cats can hear but I can't. However, if that's what they were trying to do, they failed.

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Megaphone

Mosquito and I thought it was Tinitus

Title says it all really......

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what a surprise

"[...]and that targeting them "is tantamount to degrading treatment prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights"

<->

guvmuppet backs them.

Seems if a company wants to sell items in the UK to .gov, breaching Human Rights = instant sale...

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Flame

85% sold in the UK

Because the british hate children: fact.

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Anonymous Coward

No

Because British kids are lately....little shitebags, yes there are some good kids still who have had discipline and good parenting, but the majority are left to their own devices as mum and dad are both out working 80 hours a week, or in the pub getting smashed on the child benefit / tax credit payment, so learn they can do what they like.

Example, when I was growing in the 1980s, if you saw an adult you behaved yourself, lest your parents find out, I'll see your father / mother being a valid threat.

Now kids stand blocking the pavement, and when you ask them politely to move you get "how" or "whit the fuck fur???" or "FUCK YOU PEEDO PEEDO PEEDO"

Or their "parents" "look its ra polis manny, you better run and hide or he'll tak ye to the nick" << great teach kids to hide from the police, and commit crime. That being heard in a busy cafe, something I would never have heard when I was a kid.

Frankly bring back the birch, I wasreliably told round here, only 2 EVER came back for a second dose, source for that being an elderly gentleman who used to administer the birch for many years.

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Anonymous Coward

No squared

If someone had birched me I'd have shoved it down their throat. The answer is standing up for yourself. This has ALWAYS been the answer.

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Hoorah

Assuming anything actually gets done with regards banning, of course.

I'm well past 30 and can still hear the bloody things.

On a slightly related note, does anyone know of any inks in that portion of the near infrared that is visible to CCTV cameras? One could have a lot of fun with that :)

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Flame

Should be banned

One of the old boys on my estate fitted a PIR enabled one to protect the patch in front of his garage. Not sure from what as it's an estate that's probably >90% retired: The only sirens you hear are the ambulances called daily to cart another one away... But I digress. The sensitivity on his was not correctly set up and walkers on the opposite side of the road would trigger it. I'm 32 and can clearly hear it from 100 feet away, though I wouldn't say it was particularly annoying.

I did let him know and he's apparently done something about it now, but interestingly it didn't seem to bother my 1 year old one little bit whenever we walked past it. I wonder if Plymouth really have saved as much as they say and whether they could corroborate it by seeing 'business as usual' in an unprotected area.

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At 27 I can hear them too.

I'm guessing the science behind the device is flawed. However, I can also hear dog whistles and car brakes set my teeth RIGHT on edge. Perhaps the company in question should do some more research, or maybe do something about the problem in the first place instead of swatting kids away.

Incidentally I have no love of chavs etc but this is a hammer to crack a walnut approach.

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Anonymous Coward

Won't somebody please think of...

... the dogs.

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