Mosquito ultrasound device

Last updated: June 20, 2016

Should we allow the ultra-sonic Mosquito device to be used to make young people move away? Or should it be banned?

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

Anti-social behaviour is a big problem. Large crowds of teenagers gather outside shops, homes and o...

Anti-social behaviour is a big problem. Large crowds of teenagers gather outside shops, homes and other public places and make life miserable for the rest of the public with noise, drinking, drug-taking, vandalism and threats of violence. This is bad for the law-abiding public but worse for store-owners as their customers are put off by gangs of young people hanging round the entrance. The Mosquito device solves this problem by encouraging young people to move away and breaking up gangs before trouble starts.
No because...
Punishing all young people for being out in public is a bad idea. Not all anit-social behaviour is caused by young people. Those teenagers who do make trouble are only a small minority. Often young people have good reasons to hang about in public places and do not deserve to be subjected to this sonic weapon. For example, they may be waiting to meet parents or friends, waiting for the bus or train. Babies and small children will be affected by the Mosquito yet they get no choice about where they go. Their parents will not be able to hear it but will wonder why their child is crying or running away.

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

Surely it is up to the shopkeeper to decide if putting up a Mosquito damages their trade? Actually ...

Surely it is up to the shopkeeper to decide if putting up a Mosquito damages their trade? Actually it is unlikely to – most people spend just a few minutes in a shop, and the Mosquito takes longer than that to become annoying to people. In any case, mostly the devices are put up outside the stores, to stop youths hanging around their doorways. High-pitched noise doesn’t travel well through walls, so young people who come inside to actually buy things will not be affected.
No because...
Teenagers are consumers too – under-25s spend a lot of money in shops and so do the parents of young children. Shops which put up a Mosquito device are driving possible customers away, which seems a stupid thing to do.

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

This is a problem for the police, parents and society as a whole, not for individual shopkeepers. N...

This is a problem for the police, parents and society as a whole, not for individual shopkeepers. Nobody is forcing gangs of teens to go to dangerous areas - the Mosquito just stops them hanging about for long periods in particular places, which many people find threatening. Young people can go to each other’s houses, youth and sports clubs and parks.
No because...
This device just moves teenagers away from its sound, rather than actually dealing with any problem of gangs and law-breaking. Groups of youths are likely to end up in more dangerous areas, where the police can’t find them. Illegal and anti-social activity such as drinking, drug-taking, vandalism and violence are much more likely to take place when groups of youths are away from public areas.

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

The Mosquito is quite flexible and can be used in a targetted way, so it is not discriminatory. It ...

The Mosquito is quite flexible and can be used in a targetted way, so it is not discriminatory. It is designed only to run for 20 minutes at a time and the makers recommend that the device is only turned on when there is an actual problem. Usually after a few minutes any threatening crowd of kids has moved off, and the device is turned off again. To prevent abuse, the makers check with local police that a genuine problem exists before selling someone the device. They are also keen to draw up “fair usage” rules so that the Mosquito is not used in an unreasonable way.
No because...
Using the Mosquito is discriminatory – it targets all young people regardless of how they are behaving. Babies, well-behaved school-children and hard-working young graduates will all be affected. In affect they are losing the right to enjoy public spaces that everyone else has. If this device targetted only one sex, or only one race, there would be an outcry. It is just as bad when people are labelled and picked on simply because of their age.

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

Shopkeepers and others feel the need to buy a Mosquito because society has lost control of its kids....

Shopkeepers and others feel the need to buy a Mosquito because society has lost control of its kids. Many teens are already alienated from society and behave in very anti-social ways. Why should ordinary members of the public have to put up with threatening and unpleasant behaviour when they are out shopping? What about the rights of shopkeepers who are threatened if they won’t sell alcohol to young teens? Why should they see their business collapse because gangs hanging around outside are driving their customers away?
No because...
What message does this sonic weapon send to young people? That they are pests, likely law-breakers and not to be trusted. That society thinks that they are all the same and that it doesn’t want them. That they have no rights? Teens will react badly to being branded in this way. They will start to think of themselves as outsiders and undesirables, and as a result will end up behaving worse.

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

The Mosquito is not a weapon at all. It is simply something that encourages young people to move aw...

The Mosquito is not a weapon at all. It is simply something that encourages young people to move away. Like an alarm clock ringing away continuously upstairs, the Mosquito can be ignored for quite a while but will eventually become irritating enough to make the hearer do something about it. This hardly makes it an assault. Indeed, many teenagers have downloaded the same sound as a cellphone ringtone, so that adults can’t hear their phone ringing. They wouldn’t do this if it the Mosquito sound caused extreme discomfort. And there is no evidence that it does lasting damage to anyone.
No because...
The Mosquito is a sonic weapon that causes extreme discomfort in young people (and quite a lot of older ones with sensitive hearing). It should be banned as a form of assault and because it may do serious damage to the hearing of those who can sense it. Those who can hear its high-pitched noise report bad headaches, temporary deafness and feeling sick. It may also caused tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears). It also appears to have particularly bad effects on people with autism. For these reasons a number of chains of shops and local councils have decided to ban Mosquitos.

Mosquito ultrasound device
Yes because...

No one is arguing that this is the only way to deal with problem teens. By all means build more lei...

No one is arguing that this is the only way to deal with problem teens. By all means build more leisure centres and improve our schools if you think that will help. But the Mosquito can be part of the solution and helps to reclaim public areas for the rest of the population. It isn’t the responsibility of shopkeepers and homeowners to solve social problems. And until parents, schools, the police and politicians find a better way to stop anti-social behaviour, those who feel threatened should be able to use the Mosquito.
No because...
If there is a problem with teens behaving, badly, the Mosquito isn’t the way to deal with it. Instead we need to work with young people to find positive solutions that address the underlying causes of anti-social behaviour. Providing places young people can meet without getting into trouble, and making them feel valued by society would be better approaches. So would clamping down on illegal alcohol sales and drug-dealing.


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Theox77

I think that this is a stupid idea to drive your customers away, also this effected some of the universal declaration of human rights

Ian

Ian
What about the rights of ordinary citizen to peaceful enjoyment of their homes, and resort to its use through sheer desperation.

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