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Inventor finds sound way to noise up rowdy teenagers

Written by Admin on Thursday 16 February 2006

FORGET your ASBOs and dispersal orders - cunning technology may be the way to end the scourge of anti-social youths and rowdy teenagers.

A device that sends out a high-pitched noise that can be heard only by teenagers and those in their early 20s is being used by police and shopkeepers to tackle nuisance behaviour.

The Sonic Teenager Deterrent - or Mosquito - projects a controlled 80-decibel pulsing frequency, which "irritates" younger ears but leaves older ones unaffected.

The device works on the fact that from our mid to late 20s, the human ear experiences a big drop in its ability to hear upper frequency sounds.

Placed outside shops or sheltered homes, it has the effect of dispersing children who cannot stand the noise.

The unassuming black box can be mounted on a wall in a casing similar to that of a halogen security light.

Two English police forces are trialling the device, while in Scotland, the Dundee-based independent retailer CJ Lang, which operates the Spar chain, is among clients looking at whether it can be used to tackle the problem of nuisance youths hanging around its stores.

Its inventor, Howard Stapleton, said: "The device emits a high-frequency pulse that is barely audible to anyone over 20 because, as we get older, we suffer progressive hearing loss due to our noisy environment and the structure of our ear changes.

"Ninety per cent of people under 20 will be able to hear it and 90 per cent of people over 30 won't."

Author Ian Marland
Publication The Scotsman
Date 16 February 2006

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