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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2005, 06:30 GMT 07:30 UK
Classical solution to anti-social behaviour
Antonio Vivaldi
The music of Vivaldi is used to deter youths
The Co-op supermarket is turning up the volume on classical music at some Northern Ireland stores in a bid to deter anti-social behaviour.

Loudspeakers have been installed outside two stores to try to make them them "less cool" and stop groups of troublemakers from hanging around nearby.

The scheme is taking place at stores on the Groomsport Road in Bangor and the Shankill Road in Belfast.

It follows a successful pilot at 10 stores in England last year where the dulcet tones of Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky drove away the yobs.

John McNeill of the Co-op in Northern Ireland said: "Some of our stores have problems with youths who gather outside and they can intimidate shoppers and our staff.

"This is an extra tool we can and will install in locations where we have such problems."

A speaker plays the music outside the Co-op in Bangor
A speaker plays the music outside the Co-op in Bangor

The taped music by famous composers is controlled by shop staff who can adjust the volume when youths gather outside.

"Playing the music makes our shops less cool as places for youngsters to hang out, and can make life much easier for our customers and our staff," said Mr McNeill.

Andy Pope, a spokesperson for the Co-op, said they had tried a variety of music but found that classical tones were the most effective.

Isolated areas

"We played a number of different types of music, some was classical, some was hiphop and some I wouldn't like to describe, but the most effective one was classical.

"For us, it is reducing anti-social behaviour and youths gathering outside our stores.

"It's not really applicable in every store, because we don't have that type of behaviour in every store but in isolated areas, it's a useful tool."

He said some of the stores also engaged with the community, because they did not want to simply drive the problem to another location.

"Staff are very, very keen on the concept," he said.

"They feel there's a less threatening atmosphere outside some of our stores and the morale within the store is better," he said.

Classics deter bus station yobs
23 Aug 04 |  Humber

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