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Mosquito is used to drive away teen yobs

Written by Admin on Thursday 06 April 2006

THEATRE bosses have used a hi-tech whistle to drive away teenage yobs.

The Mosquito device, which emits a high-pitched whistle that has the same effect as an irritating insect, is designed to be irritating to teenagers and those in their early 20s.

The Wyvern Theatre borrowed the device and has used it to drive yobs congregating outside the theatre away.

Now it could be used elsewhere in Swindon after the town's police and crime and disorder partnership hailed it as an overwhelming success.

Town centre community beat officer PC Andy Alexander said: "It was first used on March 6 and has been used 16 times since then. The device is only used when there is a group outside causing a problem and they have already been approached and told to stop. If they fail to move on, the Mosquito is switched on via a button inside the theatre for 10 minutes at a time."

The Mosquito has been used to complement CCTV cameras and a dispersal order in Theatre Square, which have already started to work.

PC Alexander added: "The dispersal order and CCTV have had a really big impact and we have got rid of the bulk of the problem as we are talking about tens rather than hundreds of people causing trouble.

"So the Mosquito is just another tool to add to the measures we already have in place."

Compound Security Systems, the firm that makes the Mosquito, has rolled the device out to police forces across the country and Swindon police will decide whether to make an order for the equipment when it has evaluated its success rates.

Cheri Wright, anti-social behaviour co-ordinator for Swindon Council, said: "The Mosquito is particularly effective because it sends out a high-pitched noise which becomes progressively worse for people aged between 15 and 25.

"The noise is so irritating that eventually people have to move on to get away from it. The staff at the Wyvern are filling out records as they use it, but we would really like to test it out on other areas to see if it has the same effect."

PublicationSwindon Gazette and Herald
Date06 April 2006

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