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Mosquito keeps town’s ASBO yobs on the move

Written by Admin on Monday 03 April 2006

A Controversial device that scares off teenage yobs with a high-pitched squeal only they can hear has been hailed a phenomenal success by West police. Officers in Swindon had tried Asbo dispersal orders and regular patrols in the above-ground walkways around the town's Wyvern Theatre, but had little joy in persuading youngsters to move on.

Theatre staff, visitors and passers-by complained of anti-social behaviour, harassment and intimidation, until the theatre borrowed a Mosquito - one of the new boxes fitted on to the side of the theatre that emitted a high-pitched noise that only those under the age of about 20 can hear.

Since then, the problems have largely vanished, and theatre bosses are understood to be considering buying their own when the police move it to another location in the town.

Swindon's divisional crime reduction officer, Bob Walton, said the Mosquito was installed at the beginning of March and had worked wonders. He said: "This particular area was suffering from repeated and particularly aggressive anti-social behaviour from groups of local youths. The problem was so bad that there was a dispersal order taken out, which had little ef fect.

"The situation was affecting both theatre staff and customers. Since the introduction of the Mosquito unit, the situation has improved beyond belief. I am told by the sergeant responsible for policing this part of the town, that his officers seldom, if ever, get calls to the area to deal with complaints." The firm that makes the Mosquito, Compound Security Systems, said orders were doubling each month. Boss Howard Stapleton said attempts to claim the device was illegal because it breached environmental health and noise rules would fail.

He said: "It is a product based on common sense which is not designed to be used for any length of time, or to disrupt people beyond the affected premises."

PublicationWestern Daily Press
Date03 April 2006

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