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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Anti-gang device 'discriminatory'
The Mosquito device
The device sends out a high pitched irritating noise
A device which disperses gangs of teenagers with high pitched sound is unfair to young people, a civil liberties group has said.

The Mosquito, which is only audible to the under 25s, has been used across the country and is being considered by officials in Erewash in Derbyshire.

But Liberty said it discriminated against all young people and simply moved problems elsewhere.

The device, officials said, would only be one part of any solution.

The Erewash Community Safety Partnership said large groups of youths were causing problems in Queen Elizabeth's Way in Kirk Hallam.

No respect

Its anti-social behaviour co-ordinator, Gemma Nash, said: "As the residents have said they dare not go to the shops because the youths are there, they are intimidating, they are abusive, there are cans of lager, bitter, alcohol about.

"The residents are frightened to use their local shop. I am hoping if it is installed it will have an effect and it will make the residents happier."

But Alex Gask, from Liberty, said the Mosquito caused problems for all young people, from babies to teenagers, whether they were behaving badly or not.

"Do we want to say to them, 'We want you out of our public spaces - therefore we are deliberately going to cause you discomfort and make you go away. We don't care where you go but want you to just get out of our faces'?

"Now that seems to me an extremely worrying attitude towards young people.

"It doesn't show them any respect and it doesn't teach them to show respect to anyone else."

The safety partnership said there were protocols for fitting the devices and all initiatives would offer young people alternative services.

SEE ALSO
Campaign over anti-gang noise box
10 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Teen trouble beaten by 'mosquito'
31 Mar 06 |  Derbyshire

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