You may be thinking how it’s possible to ban Mosquitoes. They are annoying insects, but it is not the insect form of mosquito that I am referring to. I am referring to the electronic box that emits a high pitch sound that is only audible to those under 25. It has been used in the UK for the last two years as a way to tackle anti-social behaviour.
How do they work? Using technology originally designed to scare away vermin, the ‘Mosquito’ is a device that emits a very high frequency buzzing sound which cannot be heard by people over the age of 25.
What exactly is the problem with it? Well the main one is that it is indiscriminate. It has been enlisted to help tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour, but in reality any person under the age of 25 (whether they are engaged in antisocial behaviour or not) will be affected by this box. This includes the very young such as babies and young children as well as older teenagers and adults and not just teenagers involved in anti-social behaviour.
The sound that it emits has been described is “distressing” and “unbearable”. It has been estimated that there are around 3,500 of these devises in operation in the UK.
England’s children’s commissioner backs a ban but stores say the devices can be useful against anti-social youths. While in Scotland the commissioner for children and young people is pursuing the issue with the Scottish Government, the police, supermarkets and the manufacturers.
It is an abhorrent disregard to the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms 1950 (as brought into law by the Human Rights Act 1998). It is nothing more than inhumane and degrading treatment regardless of guilt or innocence.
Reading some of the comments made by the public on the BBC News Website causes my blood to boil. Yes, they have a right to express their opinions (but that does not mean that I have to agree with them). What some of them have been coming away with is appalling and is just legitimising the fear of young people created by the media and the government.
“Hey – to those under 25 – it is about time the government tortured you ! they’ve been torturing me for ten years now …..”
Firstly this just shows how people can be so easily coerced by the media. The anti-social behaviour these devises seek to being an end to is associated with 14 – 18 year olds, but now because the media is talking about people up to the age of 25 people are replacing “teenagers” with “those under 25”.
“People realise how intimidated the elderly are when confronted with a group of teenagers.”
It’s not just the elderly who feel intimidated by large groups of teenagers. I was and still am (at 19) intimidated by large groups of my peers. People should realise that those responsible for anti-social behaviour intimidate people from all sections of society and not just the older generations!
“No of course it doesn’t infringe on human rights for someone to be using this in the first place as a deterrent would mean that the perpetrators were up to no good in the first place”
What ever happened to our wonderful principle of the presumption of innocence? The fact is that once these devices are activated the noise affects all those who are in the area at the time and are able to hear it! It’s indiscriminate and affects those who are abiding by the law as well as those who are not.
Another comment from a BBC user that has annoyed me was this:
“They do a pretty good job of that themselves – show me a well mannered child out at night on their own after 7pm and I’ll change my view!
They are all thugs!”
This kind of negative stereotypic and brandishing all youths as thugs is not going to help the situation. The fact is that not all young people are thugs and not all thugs are young people.
Let’s ban these Mosquitoes and actually focus on the problems at hand!