Page last updated at 01:47 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Call for ban on anti-crime device

Mosquito alarm
Critics say the alarm infringes young people's rights

The government is being urged to bring in rules banning a new anti-social behaviour device which emits a high-pitched noise.

The Mosquito Mark 4 is designed to ensure areas like car parks are clear of potential troublemakers.

The original Mosquito can be heard only by the under 25s, but the latest version is audible to all ages.

Campaign group Liberty is calling for regulations against the devices and research into possible hearing damage.

There are estimated to be 3,500 of the original devices in use in the UK, many at shopping centres.

Urgent

Their sound causes discomfort to young ears - but their frequency is above the normal hearing range of people over 25.

Shami Chakrabati, director of Liberty, said of the new devices: "I think we need urgent research and regulation by the authorities.

"It's not going to stop determined criminals. It could cause damage to the rest of us and certainly make our lives a bit of a misery."

A campaign, led by the children's commissioner for England, is calling for them to be banned.

Critics say the Mosquito targets all young people and not just those who may be causing a nuisance.

They say its use to disperse gangs is a breach of children's human rights.



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