A call by the Council of Europe to ban the ‘Mosquito’ electronic alarm device used as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour has been welcomed by The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI ). According to Clodagh O’Brien of the youth council, the use of the Mosquito reflected badly on local authorities and private companies “who appear to think it is acceptable to negatively stereotype all young people because of the actions of a few”.
The Mosquito alarm is an electronic device which emits an ultrasonic sound, similar to the buzz of a mosquito. It produces a piercing and potentially dangerous noise that is typically heard only by children and young people under 18 whose ability to hear high frequencies is most keen. The purpose of the device used by some shop-owners, is to prevent anti-social behaviour, such as loitering, by a small minority. However it has been reported that the device impacts negatively on all children and young people. The device has also been reported to affect babies and children who may be exposed to the potentially dangerous noise for long periods unknown to their parents.
“We welcome the decision of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly to call for a total ban on the Mosquito, as its safety to young people and children is in serious doubt. Hopefully this decision will convince the Minister for Justice to pass an outright ban to silence these devices across Ireland once and for all,” stated James Doorley, assistant director at NYCI.