Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

Home Office questions


Home Secretary Alan Johnson has rejected calls to ban a device which emits high-pitched noises designed to cause discomfort to young people.

At question time on 8 February 2010, he described the Mosquito as "very helpful" in dispersing groups of young people.

Labour MP Natascha Engel urged the government to ban the product, claiming that if it was used on any other group in society there would be cries of discrimination.

But Mr Johnson said such devices helped communities who were plagued by groups of "rowdy young people" and stressed his personal commitment to them.

Shopkeepers use the gadget to deter youths from congregating outside their stores.

It produces a noise which is irritating for younger ears but beyond the normal range of hearing for people over 25.

Mr Johnson told MPs: "I do think there is evidence that shows these devices can be very helpful... where people feel a congregation of rowdy young people is actually adversely affecting there quality of lives."


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