Screech of the peace is new weapon against yobs
Written by Admin on Thursday 16 March 2006
A NEW security system - hailed as the solution to anti-social gangs - is being tried out in Ascot.
The Mosquito system sets off a high frequency sound at 85 decibels - but you'll only hear its piercing noise if you are under 25 years old.
Inventor Howard Stapleton says is like a demented alarm clock which will encourage young people to leave the area.
Only people under 25 are said to be able to hear the racket because after this age the structure of the ear narrows.
The product has been piloted in Nottingham and Newcastle and, after spotting it on Channel Four's Richard and Judy Show, Sunninghill and South Ascot Parish Council decided to give it a go.
The device, which looks like a floodlight, is going to be installed in trouble hotspots Victory Fields and South Ascot Recreation Ground - both of which have been subject to thousands of pounds worth of vandalism.
However, critics of the device fear it will just shift the problem elsewhere as the devices range is a limited 20-30 metres.
Cllr Ruth Fettes, who is campaigning for the renovation of Victory Field, said: "I would welcome anything that curbed the anti-social behaviour of the minority but not at the risk to the enjoyment of the majority."
Sarah McKechnie, chair of Sunninghill leisure committee, agreed: "This device could be extremely useful but must be used in a sensible context."
Ascot's community sergeant Colin Pike said that with careful use in discreet locations it could be an effective tool.
He added: "I think if it has the appropriate effect and moves people on then it has to be a good thing. It is harmless with no damaging side-effects,it is just an annoying sound."
Animal lovers and mums need not worry as babies and dogs are said to be unaffected by the noise.
But even before the system is installed, teenagers say they don't like the sound of the idea.
One youth at a local youth club said: "It will be a waste of money because they will get destroyed like everything else. The money should be used on something useful like cameras."
Date 16 March 2006