back to article Calls to ban hoodie-busting sonic weapon

Campaigners are calling for hoodie-busting sonic weapon the Mosquito to be banned, claiming it targets innocent young 'uns and is an "infringement of their human rights", the Telegraph reports. The Mosquito emits a high-pitched whine inaudible to the majority of adults over 30, while causing yoof ne'er-do-wells a level of …


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  1. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Up


    can I buy one of these? And does it also work on dog-owners whose pets have "taken a liking" to my driveway?

  2. Jon Brindley

    Effing Mossies

    I personally hate the mosquito noise. McDonalds in my city have had it for a while and it does my head in - they're positioned down the main street and I'm 22 so can still hear the stupid thing.

    It would've put me off eating there if I wasn't so addicted to burgers, but it does give me a headache for about 20 mins every time I have to go past.

  3. Jon G

    Get real

    Shami Chakrabarti said: "What type of society uses a low-level sonic weapon on its children?"

    The question should be "What type of society allows its children to commit crime (including murder) due to lack of a deterrent"

    Maybe she'd prefer it if we scrapped the Mosquito and allowed kids to go around stabbing and shooting one another instead

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intentionally left blank

    "People talk about infringing human rights but what about the human rights of the shopkeeper who is seeing his business collapse because groups of unruly teenagers are driving away his customers? The noise is only emitted over a 15 metre radius and no one is taking away the rights of teenagers to walk away."

    So what he is saying is that the Police are unable (unwilling, lets face it) to stop groups of kids loitering an intimidating people (some people are too easily intimidated, but that's another matter), but that it is alright to counter this failure of law enforcement by taking the law into your own hands an preventing everyone else under 30ish from having their right to free association. The Police aren't going to prevent this from happening, because if they did, they would have to start moving on kids who are causing a nusance, far easier to get someone else to do their job for them.

    This is, obviously, not mentioning the sudden lack of people under thirty shopping at the shops where these devices are installed, causing, err, a drop in customers...

    Shami is bang on with this one - take something contraversial like this and replace 'the kids' with another minority group, if it sounds racist/sexist/homophobic/generally bigoted then it's not right to treat 'the kids' in that manner.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Where can I get one??

    "The use of measures such as these are simply demonising children and young people, creating a dangerous and widening divide between the young and the old"

    Well maybe if the youth of today actually showed some decency and respect for other people we wouldn't need to resort to these kinds of things.

    I'm not exactly old myself (I recently turned 27) but when I was a teenager a mere 10 years ago there just weren't the kind of problems you keep seeing today. If anything I think school's, parents and the law in general is still too soft on young people who think that because of their age they can get away with anything they like.

  6. Mark Ashworth
    Thumb Up

    I have

    a ringtone on my phone which produces the same effect... great fun and a good way to stop my kids arguments...

  7. Mark

    Why is it inaudible?

    Is it because the noise we are living with degrades our ability to hear?

    so won't universal use of mosquito cause children to not hear it much earlier?

    And so is it meant to take "young adults" out of the picture (which will have reduced impact in the future) or children who have a lesser option of being a hoodie or unruly..?

  8. Antony King


    I'm 34, and these things irritate me far more than most teenagers do; certainly if shops decide to use them I won't be spending my money there ! To me, it's almost as loud as a car alarm and just as bloody pointless.

    I also have problems with the proliferation of cat scaring devices - thankfully people don't usually notice if you take the batteries out after dark... Lots of people my age have little children too - why should they be subjected to continual noise pollution ?

  9. Nick L
    Paris Hilton

    Call me a weak liberal if you like, but...

    These things should not be allowed, and probably are already illegal under some law or other given the state of oppression already present in this country. Public nuisance? I dunno, and don't really care.

    But what I do care about is that they're indiscriminately targeting kids who, for the majority, are doing absolutely nothing wrong. Some kids will cause problems, but this really isn't the answer. Go back to the drawing board and think again how to target your "weapon".

    I daresay this miserable sod of a shopkeeper will quite happily take the money off kids who make it into his shop with their parents (and their cash) for the weekly CBeebies magazine or any one of the dozens of bits of tat aimed at preschool kids. Or sweets, which I believe kids rather enjoy.

    I can also imagine Iranian news authorities reporting with glee that we're using sonic weapons against our kids...

    What would Paris say, eh?

  10. Eddie Edwards


    Instead of irresponsibly installing devices that could possibly damage the hearing of babies and small children, I think they should instead legalize tazer use on anyone between the ages of 13 and 21, for whatever reason. This is the age-group the tazer is ideal for - strong hearts, you see. Of course a few of the more crack-addled ones will die, but that's just clearing the gene pool of debris. Most will go on to lead full and active lives, secure in the knowledge that they'll continue to do so as long as they behave themselves in public.

  11. Joe K


    Wasn't it proved more effective that playing Cliff Richard and classical music works better anyway?

    Of course then you strain the human rights of everyone with working ears and not just chav muppets hanging around your local off licence bothering you to get them some cheap "cider".

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps if parents spent more time raising their children correctly, there would be no need for devices such as this. The police should be lifting anyone under the age of 16 found on the streets after about 2000 and charging the parents with neglect. If any minor is found guilty of a crime, the parent should be punished with a separate sentence of 50% of whatever their child got. Until parents in the UK are made to realise that THEIR children are THEIR responsibility at ALL time and it is THEIR duty to ensure THEIR children are raised correctly, the UK will continue to go to the dogs.

  13. Smallbrainfield

    There was a great story on Radio 4 this morning

    Enterprising young wags are downloading the sound onto their mobile phones and playing it during lessons, much to the distress of other pupils and incomprehension of teachers.

    The spirit of Jeremy Beadle is indeed alive and well.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Here's an idea...

    I think the government is missing a trick here (as usual).

    I can understand why they want ban hunting of foxes; but why not just redirect the Hunt members at the Chavs... and when they're done with them, they can go after all the bleeding heart Liberty liberals...


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Mark Ashworth

    Where might one find this teenager-bothering ringtone?

  16. Simon Day

    Court case....

    If people want these and set them so they are only audiable on their own premises then fine - though I would expect fair warning in writing before entering.

    However I'm 26 and quite sensitive to high pitch noise - it frequently causes me migranes.

    The first time I encouter one of these from a public footpath I will be calling my lawyer- its tantamount to assault.

  17. Nick Pettefar

    Do they make a portable version?

    I would definitely buy one of those! If not, what frequency does it use - I will make my own one...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sad fact is...

    ... That as someone over thirty I can still hear the sound. So it does not infringe on the rights of teens only... it infringes on my rights too.

    I wear hoodies, because they are comfortable. I wear trainers for the same reason. I don't misbehave, but I'm automatically lumped in with the yobs because of the way I dress, and because of the fact that my hearing is still better than 50% of my age class.

    So yeah, use it where it's really needed (like fire engines when they are being pelted by bottles and stones), but NOT where it causes an indiscriminate section of society discomfort.

  19. arran
    Thumb Down

    my hearing

    i swear, if it wasnt for the fact my degree is in audio engineering, id say that my serious degradation in hearing is down to these things, i think they should be banned, im amazed we as a society feel the need to ostracize children and teens in this way, one day these kids will be in charge, and we will be old, and they will remember the way we have treated them.

  20. Shakje

    Re: Stuart Luscombe

    I'm 26 so I should have the same experience as you in terms of violence. When I was a teenager, I was a pretty good teenager, part of this is that I went to a private school (I'm not saying this is a positive benefit necessarily, just that at my school violence was better dealt with). Someone in my year was hit on the head by a bottle flying through a bus window, a party we had was broken up by police after someone threw a roof tile on the next door neighbour's car, I managed to avoid fights, but there were plenty of fights in the town centre (Glasgow), there have always been plenty of stabbings in Glasgow. My mother told me when I was younger of the razor gangs in Glasgow, she spent her early years in the middle of a war (growing up in Clydebank near Singers) for God's sake.

    You can complain that society is more violent than it was 100 years ago, but it's not really, and you can peel on about criminals having too many rights. There's places where the criminal doesn't have as many rights, and where the police are feared by kids. Places like China, or Hitler's Germany, or Mussolini's Italy, or Stalin's USSR or the DDR.

  21. Daniel Hall

    @ Jon Brindley

    I too can hear the device.

    There is one installed at a bowling alley just down the road from me, I hear it every day on the way to work, as I have to walk down that street.

    Whats even more annoying, is that (dont flame please), I smoke, and when ever I go bowling, I obviously have to go outside for a smoke, but the only place there is an ashtray outside, is right next to the sound emmiter!

    Im only 23, and the sound really gets to me. To be honest, with the last 6 years of me being a DJ, and playing loud music on headphones, im very supprised I can still hear this moquito.

    My 20 year old sis, has had a baby, and she wont go near the bowling alley, because shes affraid of either the noise hurting the baby, or even, waking him up if hes asleep on the way in.

    Anyway, Rant over, but I still think these devices need to be abolished.

  22. cor

    You fisrt have to ask the 'kids' to turn off their Ipods so they can hear it.

    However, even in my late 30's I can hear the damn things, no problem.

    But on a more serious note, I worry about the introduction of this category of 'deterrent' into society by private parties. Is there no privacy/health and safety/environmental legislation restricting their deployment?

    How far removed is this one-sided (commercial) introduction from say, a private taser? They are, after all, guaranteed non-lethal by the manufacturer. Oh, wait, that is now modified to 'less-than-lethal'.

  23. Slarti

    Quite right --- although nothing can't be turned around

    I think the Childrens Commissioner and Shami are spot on on this one.

    I've never seen anyone claim it stops murders, Jon G, that's ridiculous! You should know by now that that's what all the CCTV is for...

    It's meant to stop groups of kids (many of whom probably have sod all else in terms of places to go) from hanging around shopping centres. This is primarily justified on the basis that groups of teenagers are, by definition, evil and scary. (No-one seems to consider that if kids these days *are* such thugs, then maybe those kids who want to hang out with their friends without getting stabbed, etc. would choose to do so in a public place like, say, a town centre or a shopping area!)

    That said, the "never use a weapon that could be turned back against you" logic also applies. A friend of mine told me recently that the kids in her son's school had sampled this noise and use it as a ring tone on their mobiles. This means they can text each other during class and they hear the phone go off, but the teacher doesn't! Who said the youth of today have no initiative?

  24. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    @ Jon G

    Hmm, deliberate noise pollution in a form bordering on physical assault... must be legal. And yeah, let's just allow those kids to stab & shoot each other, solves two problems in one go. I don't quite see why not having a noise pollution device pointed at them would instantly drive them to acts of violence, but I am sure you'll work out a way. I'm sure the problem is not within police not doing their duty, shop-owners lacking some balls and authority, or parents failing to educate some decency into their sproglings ("Gee, Maaa, I popped a hoodie!"), so curing the symptoms will most likely help getting to the root of the problem.

  25. Adam West

    Human Rights

    While I do think these Mosquito things are pointless, I have to wonder. Is it not a violation of my Human Rights that I cant walk down to the corner shop without getting yelled at, spat at and/or beaten up by the local teenage mob?

  26. Sordid Details

    @Mike Crawshaw

    "...does it also work on dog-owners whose pets have "taken a liking" to my driveway?"

    Get yourself an air rifle Mike. Cheaper than a Mosquito and *loads* more fun.

  27. Andy Worth

    Re:The sad fact is...

    Just about fire engines......Instead of cameras and "deterrent devices" being added, why don't they just squirt the disruptive little shits with their high-powered hose? It'd knock em off their feet and leave them soaking wet and freezing cold.

    As for these "sonic weapons", they've only come about because of the bleeding heart liberals in the first place, who decided that you can't give a twatty teenager a good kick in the balls to "deter" them from causing any more trouble. Society (and the law) favours the criminal teenagers rather than the actual victims, even though the majority of members of said society would agree with them getting a good kicking.

  28. Ian S
    Jobs Horns

    Tear Gas instead?

    Seeing as though water cannons are out of the equation (re: fireman being attacked) it seems the best alternative...

  29. Mage Silver badge


    The Garda in Ireland decided that it's illegal under existing law. They seize them.

    In theory true in UK too. It's assault. No different to shouting at or slapping every young person that comes in.

    I'm sure it's 30 years + since I could hear one. I imagine it is 13KHz to 18KHz band. Adults can rarely hear much above 10KHz to 12KHz and no-one can hear 20kHz. An old TV LOPT or scan coil whistles at 15.625KHz, but not very loudly. Only can be heard by people below 17 to 25 approx. Ones with "loose bits" very irritating when I was a Teenager. I remember wedging on with a piece of plasic (I repaired TVs & radios at the time when I should have been doing homework for school).

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Easier solution

    is a shotgun blast to the head - only targets the trouble causing chav, downside is the mess left behind after.

    I am for anything which keeps the louts under control. Would be better if it was the parents taking responsibility but as they (the parents) don't seem to think it is their responsibility then someone has to take action.

    The chopper - cos they should arm them and disperse the gangs with a quick burst of cannon fire.

  31. Tawakalna


    can I have one that electrocutes the little scr0tes as well when they're vandalising my car, and makes them pick up all the litter that they keep dumping in front of my house, and turns them into productive members of society instead of evil lazy sponging little t0ssers?

    Although I'm generally against the use of tazers, their indiscriminate use on the UK's feral teeenagers would have my wholehearted support, even if they are only *non-lethal* :)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You hate-filled old people can expect reprisals from the young, a noise which is inaudiable to us, but annoying to angry wrinkled coffin-dogers: Yes, bring on the top-of-the-bus mobile-phone DJs,

    flee you giffers!

  33. Eponymous Cowherd


    ***"Shami is bang on with this one - take something contraversial like this and replace 'the kids' with another minority group, if it sounds racist/sexist/homophobic/generally bigoted then it's not right to treat 'the kids' in that manner."***


    Chakrabarti, and the rest of the bleeding heart 'PC' liberals are the *reason* the Mosquito device exists in the first place.

    These people have taken away every sanction that reasonable society had against unruly and 'feral' kids. The only people left with any means of control over kids are the kids' own parents and, more often than not, *they* couldn't give a toss what their dirtbag offspring get up to.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    I would have more sympathy

    except the number of times you are subjected to the buzzing noise from kids iPod headphones on trains etc. the thumps from the kids bass speakers in their cars, the footballs slamming into fences (causing damage) when trying to work etc.

  35. Tim
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Re:The sad fact is...

    "Just about fire engines......Instead of cameras and "deterrent devices" being added, why don't they just squirt the disruptive little shits with their high-powered hose? It'd knock em off their feet and leave them soaking wet and freezing cold."

    Sadly that would also be in breach of their human rights.

    As for the sonic stuff, if it means I can go to the shop without being shouted at, hassled, having to dodge drunken fights, and asked to buy them beer'n'fags, then stuff their rights I say.

    If the cotton wool society would get off their backsides and actually discipline the little scrotes then there wouldn't be any need for this anyway.

    As for the "innocent", well they don't hang around outside shops. They go inside, or walk by. Simple. If it puts people off going in, well it's no worse than the effect teens have, and at least a sonic device isn't going to mug you at the cashpoint.

    Paris? It would be interesting to see just what affect it has on her!

  36. Cameron Colley

    Surely these are illegal under existing noise-abatement laws?

    If you can hear on of these, and it bothers you, then surely it's illegal anyhow? If you walk past a shop and they're blaring out a radio so loud it causes distress, you can report it to the council, can't you do this about a mosquito device?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Day

    "However I'm 26 and quite sensitive to high pitch noise - it frequently causes me migranes.

    The first time I encouter one of these from a public footpath I will be calling my lawyer- its tantamount to assault."

    So it works on Chavs *AND* twats? Bonus.

  38. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    @ Mike Crawshaw

    ***"can I buy one of these? And does it also work on dog-owners whose pets have "taken a liking" to my driveway?"***

    Do what I did, Mike. Invest in a pair of Marigolds

    Assuming the pooch is reasonably friendly, you collect the little gifts Rover leaves behind then, when he next pays you a visit, you call him over and return his little gifts by liberally smearing them down his back.

    When he returns home and redistributes his cargo over his owner's soft furnishings you can be assured that they have paid in full for allowing their mutt out on its own.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re Parents, re dogs, re law enforcement

    "The police should be lifting anyone under the age of 16 found on the streets after about 2000"

    Seems reasonable to me, or would if there were ever any police visible where most folks live in the UK, or if they ever responded to 999 calls for "low level crime". However, when I suggested to the (respectable, I thought) parents of one local 15 year old that they might want to know who their daughter was with at 9pm, and where, and if they did know they might want to talk to the daughter as the current boyfriend wasn't in the nicest of taste, it was initially suggested I might not want to get my legs broken. Nice people...

    The real "war on terror" in the UK ought to be a war against the tiny minority of young folks who are consistently terrorising other law-abiding folks, with no visible consequences on the terrorisers. Of course, Blair has set the perfect precedent that illegal irresponsible antisocial acts don't have consequences, e.g. by being allowed to conduct an illegal irresponsible antisocial war and not being held accountable, in fact being rewarded by his mates in high places instead. Tricky.

    There should also be a serious review of the enforcement of existing alcohol laws. No new laws are needed, whatever HomeSec may say, just effective enforcement of the ones that do exist. If that means neighbourhood camera teams or fixed CCTV outside the independent offlicences, so be it (sensible supermarkets already have a "no alcohol to under 21s" policy, time the independents followed suit), and f*** the relevant Data Protection laws.

    Wrt Mosquito, wrt dogs: search for "bark free". This is an ultrasonic emitter triggered by loud noises; if the neighbourhood is quiet, it doesn't do anything, the neighbourhood yobs start making a racket, they get whistled at. Don't know if it works, but at £60 or so it's surely worth a try.

    It's time to reclaim the streets, brothers and sistas.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the sad fact

    Is that kids aren't any more violent than they used to be, the change has been in adults. When i was young, if i'd harrassed an adult, i'd have gotten a serious belt from them. Or if not them then from my parents if they found out.

    Unfortunately, the current generation of kids have grown up in a society where kids must be protected from everything. They know that there's absolutely nothing that adults are legally allowed to do to them. Their parents aren't allowed to smack them. I mean, teachers aren't even allowed to tell them they aren't doing well anymore in case it hurts their feelings.

    10-15 years ago, a kid might have chucked a brick through a shop window for a laugh, but they'd have legged it afterwards afraid of being caught. But now they even hang around afterwards taunting the owner, trying to get them to do something.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Where might one find this teenager-bothering ringtone?



  42. George Johnson
    Thumb Up

    My local take-away

    My local take-away used to have a problem with ne'er do wells hanging around, mainly for the fruit machines, but also starting trouble. Answer, the shop owner simply swapped the fruit machines for those quiz machines that pay out if your general knowledge is up to scratch. Instant fix! Hardly anyone hangs around now, they turn up, buy the food and leave quietly. Now I don't want to make too many comments on the level of general knowledge of the average 16 year old, but it certainly worked for this shop owner and with very little effort or additional expense.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reg readers surprisingly illiberal

    As a regular reader of Reg comments its surprising to find such large numbers of people who seem happy to treat all youngsters as mindless morons bent only on harming others. How many young people you *actually know* who fit this description ?

    The argument that it's ok to damage young people's freedom because our freedom to walk the town centre without getting beaten up/murdered is just silly. The last time I checked, violence and murder were still a crime - it's just a shame the police don't seem to regard tackling this issue as important. That's where the real problem lies - the police would much rather just buy some gadgets (CCTV, mosquito etc) than do what they're paid to do.

  44. Francis Fish

    @Stuart Luscombe

    "when I was a teenager a mere 10 years ago there just weren't the kind of problems you keep seeing today. If anything I think school's, parents and the law in general is still too soft on young people who think that because of their age they can get away with anything they like."

    I left school in the late 70's with 7 'O' levels and a broken nose. Stuff just didn't get reported then. If anything things are better now because schools at least *try* to deal with bullying, even if they sometimes fail.

    My wife is a Guide leader, and I also used do a lot of work helping her and friends who run scouts. Most youngsters are decent, hard working folk just like their parents. They dislike the chav scallywags as much as you obviously do, we're talking about maybe 5% of the population here, but they get the headlines because it suits our lords and masters to demonise them and frighten the rest of us.

    Stuff gets into the Daily Mail because it doesn't happen very often - if it were happening all the time then it wouldn't be news, d'oh?

    Get a grip.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Install them on every street corner

    Anything to keep the little chavvy blighters off the streets. Kudos to the inventor.

    Teenagers frequently make life hell for those of unfortunate enough to share the planet with them, so revenge in this case definitely is sweet.

    And if you're over the age of 20 and the noise bothers you - fear not, soon enough you'll be a coffin dodger like me.

  46. Richard


    Wouldn't it be interesting if this could be pursued under the Disability Discrimination Act as this exclusively affects those who aren't disabled..?

    I'm 30-something and can hear the damn things perfectly well.

    Mine's the one saying something offensive in red text on a green background.

  47. Liam Johnson

    High frequencies

    It’s easy for the teenagers to avoid hearing this noise. They just need to go down the disco every night (preferably the one with the worst sound system) and stick their heads in the speakers. 6 Months later they wont have any high frequency hearing left!

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Coward

    the file is a MP3 called atc_teenbuzz.

    It works wonders.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    If the kids

    Why not use the same £1 low tech to generate a version audible to everyone at a slightly lower Hz. This would be very hard to find direcitonaly and run on batteries so could placed anywhere near the mosiquto noise.

    Complaints should soon rise. I once wandered around for hours trying to find the source of a similar noise, cycled into work still hearing it, entering a room filled with 20 people, nobody could locate the source even aproximately, so we carried on as normal, then later I noticed my pocket had a dictaphone which was responsible for the constant wail (meaning the tape had ended while still recording)

    There are evil devices slightly larger than a 9volt battery, they randomly beep or wail loudly every X minutes/hour and are impossible to locate in time, the battery lasts for years at this rate. They can be hidden anywhere even chucked into drop ceilings or light fittings.

  50. Bad Beaver

    Oh, and while we're at it

    do not forget what produced chavs in the first place: A society based on greed, outsourcing every possible low qualification job to wherever cheaper for the sake of shareholder revenue, producing hordes of unemployed, undirected blunt knives with too much time to kill, while at the same time advocating power and materialism as the only valid values in life, thereby adding insult to injury, provoking latent aggression, and simultaneously – as so many say – willingly removing all effective measures on symptom-curing for fear of appearing too fascist-police-state on the surface. I think that's pretty funny.

  51. Ferry Boat

    Not again

    Here we go again. Tackling the symptom not the underlying cause. Kids hang around outside estate shops because there is nothing to do. Other members of the public won't say anything to them because they are scared.

    Give kids something to do and educate them to respect their elders. Educate parents to instil a sense of community into their kids. Get everyone in the community to take responsibility.

    Am I asking too much? Yes. Any 'society' we had disappeared during the reign of King Thatcher as she relentlessly forced everyone to think of themselves. She declared there is no such thing as society and so it came to pass.

    We are doooomed I tell you, dooooomed!

  52. Anonymous Coward

    With the mood I'm in today...

    Has anyone tried to disable one of these devices yet? See how well they work filled with silcone sealent...

    At aged 32 I can still hear cat scarers and such like but have yet to come across the mosquito in public. These devices sound more and more like a terrorist weapon than useful tool to deal with illegal activity by teenagers. Maybe someone should look in to how these devices are allowed to be deployed under the Terrorism Acts we have got?

  53. system

    Stupid idea

    Having suffered from tinnitus for many years, I can safely say that an annoying, high pitched buzzing sound does not have a calming influence. In fact, it's the complete opposite. If you don't want teenagers in your shop, hit em with a super soaker, but don't drive them violently insane before sending them off elsewhere.

    As for the thing only targeting teenagers, what a load of bollocks. The whole concept relies on age related hearing loss, which means it indescriminatly targets anyone with good hearing, whether they are 2 or 40. They also claim on their site that it is as loud as rustling leaves, because it is set to 5dB above background levels, which is another steaming pile. Decibels are a logarithmic measurement, meaning +5dB is three times the power. In a bowling alley, the difference would be nothing like leaves in the trees.

    If shopkeepers want the right to possibly damage my childrens hearing (even though they are not old enough to hang out anywhere on their own) then I am reserving the right to damage whatever part of their anatomy I deem fit. All you kid hating daily mail readers can label me just another liberal if you want, but when it comes to my kids I can be extremely non-pacifist.

  54. Joe Harrison

    They should be gone

    I'm 15, and i spend most of my time doing what i'm doing now... sitting on my computer getting absolutely no excersise.

    We have a few mozzies around in our village, one outside the local shop, one outside the local chippy and one by a few benches. So the general jist of things seems to be that we are not allowed to buy Milk and Bread, we are not allowed to enjoy some Fish and Chips, and we are also not allowed to sit down in our own village.

    Personally, i want to get rid of them. These mozzies are useless... a little annoying sound.

    Scenario... there is a gold bar sat i the middle of the road in a glass box. Nobody is around but there is a little speaker next to the gold bar which is emitting a high-pitched sound which gets on your nerves. What do you do? Take the gold bar and ignore the sound or do you run away because the sound annoyed you?

    Why should i have to listen to that irritating sound because the police and the community can't be ar*ed to pull their finger out and do their duty

  55. yorksaint

    hf tone d/loads

    Try: The most widely used is 17KHz I believe, but you can use their range of test your auditory range. I find them good to get to the bar easier when its chocka with students at w/e's He He! (I'm 49!)

  56. Sam

    So all we need

    Is some organised punishment will happen, people have a history of adapting to the situation around them.

  57. Jon Axtell


    The Mosquito are legal as far as I can tell since they probably come under the same classification as house alarms in terms of noise generation. House alarms can only make a noise for 20 minutes max. As far I can gather reading other reports, the Mosquito has a 20min time limit as well.

    Now if they went off all the time, then they are illegal and indescriminate. However if they only go off after a manual trigger or due to a IR sensor then it only affects pople in the immediate area and is not an indiscriminate attack on all young people, only those hanging around interfering with the human rights of the general population to shop (or whatever) freely without feeling harased or intiminated.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Anything to keep the little chavvy blighters off the streets. Kudos to the inventor.

    Teenagers frequently make life hell for those of unfortunate enough to share the planet with them, so revenge in this case definitely is sweet."

    Sad old tosser. I'm sure you've obviously been a model human being throughout your pitiful existance. Or maybe, just maybe, you were also an unruly teenager who liked to hang about on the street corner, in the park, by the shops, in front of the TV. And maybe, just maybe, that's because as a teenager you're stuck in limbo, with no ready cash, waiting to be all grown up and getting that exciting job you've always aspired to have (after all this is a first world country surely we're all rich with good jobs and fast cars that's what the media keeps seeming to suggest). And whilst being a teenager you realise that actually growing up is going to be a lot harder than you thought and that golden future is quite so golden. In the meantime, your useless parents don't want to know (they're too busy being consumers) and the media is constantly telling you that your education isn't worth shit (not like it used to be in the old days).

    (Posted by someone who was actually a teenager 12 years ago and is now fighting to hold onto that not so golden as it once was future through hard work and perserverance)

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Microwaves instead??

    I am holding out for a targetable microwave device that makes them kack their pants; I even have the design plans for one on my HD somewhere, all I lack is a suitable microwave generator.

    (Anyone care to donate an old commercial microwave oven??)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not thinking

    Well, maybe Captain Cyborg could come back out of the woodwork and produce something to stick under the skin of all children, possibly when they are screened, tested, finger-printed etc in order to take out library books or join the national child database, then the little devices could blow up when a security person on the other side of the CCTV cameras presses a magic button. It's about as stupid.

    Indiscriminately using a scattergun approach to dealing with young people is far cheaper than actually trying to solve the root causes of the problem - and it takes a lot less intelligence as well. So are we saying that we don't mind if decent, law abiding kids that have done nothing wrong are caught in the crossfire as long as it also gets the minority of kids that cause a problem? If that's so, it's not just the kids that need to do some growing up.

  61. Chewy

    showing up peoples ages

    Every generation of teenagers is considered a nuisance by the older generations, but it doesn't make it so. Just because a small minority of teenagers commit anti-social acts it doesn't mean all of them do.

    I'd have thought one of the smarter ones could sue the shopping centres on some sort of age discrimination grounds. I wonder whether they could buy earplugs or some huge headphones to filter out the noise as well.

  62. Jasprt2
    Thumb Up


    There will always be ways to keep the undesireables out any given business. Here is the US, it has become very popular to blast country "music" outside of convenient stores to discourage kids from hanging out. It works!, Hell, country music is a powerful deterent to any age group. Of'course I pitty the poor store minder that has to endure that crap all day long.

  63. Lloyd
    Thumb Down


    I've just downloaded the ringtone and played it on my N95 much to the annoyance of everyone around me (2 x 36 year olds, 1 x 31 year old and 1x 28 year old) and we can all still hear it even though it's now off. That is bloody annoying and I can see why people complain about it.

  64. Emo

    Why not..

    Just unleash a plague of real Mosquito's when the kids are around?

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, according to Reg readers...

    ...everyone under 35 or so is a witless chav who shouldn't be allowed in stores or in public?

    I'm 29 and have very good hearing. I'm also a business owner. So what happens when I'm in the UK for a business meeting and can't sit down to lunch with a customer or walk through my own hotel lobby because of this idiocy?

    Do I have it coming just because Britain apparently has some horrible problem with groups of ruffians? (Oddly, there's nothing remotely like this going on in the crime-ridden US of A. Go figure.)

  66. Adam Collett

    Hang on?

    Are these devices on ALL THE TIME or only activated when someone of the relevant age starts causing trouble?

    If they are on all the time, then that's a bit daft. If they only go off when activated then they are no worse than rape/attack alarms that numerous people carry - are we going to ban those too because they might hurt someone about to rape us?

    I heartily agree with Ferry Boat in that we are being forced to tackle to problem not the symptom - if more money went into developing areas rather than MP's fat bellies then we might find kids had more to do than hang around menacing old people in front of shops.

    Just watch Bowling for Columbine - the bit where he goes to a so called "run down" area in Canada - they have playparks and areas for kids to do whatever they want - there is entertainment and things for kids to do - that would solve this problem quicker than anything, but it takes effort and money - ah, yeah - I'll get my coat.....

  67. Martin Taylor
    Thumb Up

    Alternative approaches

    Concentrated Mozart should produce a comparable effect, with the chance of educating the little so-and-sos at the same time.

  68. Len Goddard

    Public nuisance

    A public space is just that - space for all the public.

    People rightly complain about noise pollution when someone plays a ghetto blaster in a public place. This is the same thing even if only a small proportion of the public can hear it. Also, babies and toddlers hear the din even if their parents dont and so could be in considerable distress for reasons not obvious to doting relatives.

  69. Andus McCoatover


    OK, so what the chavs and hoodies do is fire up their Ghetto Blasters/Wogboxes/Third World Briefcases, whatever you call 'em outside Darby and Joan clubs/bingo halls/the-house-of-the-twat who designed this thing.

    Thank F... I'm in Finland else I'd get an ASBO for that for "Incitement to violence" . Oh, wait. Isn't that a 'badge of honour' for those little shits??


    Thought: would the Queen issue my ASBO with a tap on the shoulder with a baseball bat? Gong made from fake pikey "gold"?

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Reg readers surprisingly illiberal

    "How many young people you *actually know* who fit this description ?"

    None, and pathetic saddo that I am, I am keen that it should stay that way.

    OTOH should I change my mind, I can think of plenty of places within a 2 minute walk from my house where I could get aquainted kids who fit exactly that description. If they were hanging about outside my front door I would certainly want them moved on, and I'm pretty sure you would too.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Francis Fish

    The simple fact is that when a week doesn't go by without me hearing about teenagers attacking/murdering each other or someone who happened to look at them the wrong way then I'm sorry, but something needs to be done about it. Even if it is only 5% ruining it for the other 95% it's still too much. I grew up in an area that had its fair share of violence and petty theft but I know it was never as bad as things are now.

    Maybe we do hear about it more nowadays than when I was younger because the powers that be say that's what we should hear about, but it doesn't change that I feel much less safer in public now than I did back then. I can't vouch for the Daily Mail though as I've never once read it.

    Maybe I sound like I'm all for a nanny/police state, which I'm not, but if young people, however few of them it may be think that harassing, stealing and even murdering people is acceptable then maybe I'm right in thinking that something needs to be done. I'm not saying a 'hoodie-busting sonic weapon' is the right idea, but if it's stopping violence and theft against the shopkeeper then so be it.

    Paris, because I'd like to go a week without hearing about her shenanigans as well.

  72. Rob Crawford

    Wait till you apologists are on the wrong end of a chavs limited IQ

    At 44 I can still hear the buggers, however after after being on the wrong end of 2 unprovoked assults (got glassed in one case), my 12 year old son being attacked (ended up with concussion) and his mate (aged 13) ended up with a broken nose and fractured cheek, and my old daughters friend (then aged 12) ending up in an ICU when some chavs took his phone and decided that they hadn't taken enough.

    I am prepared to put up with the mosquitos, yeah it's annoying but if I can put up with it for the few minutes it takes me to buy something I don't mind too much. Or that my wife and kids not have to eun a gauntlet every time they go into the local garage.

    As for those who apologise for the little sh1tes who hang around drinking buckfast and tesco larger, saying that they have nothing to do. Possibly if the little feckers learnt to read and had a little imagination they would find something more useful to do.

    The cops don't do a thing when a shop keeper (or member of public) complains that there is a threatening group outside of a shop.

  73. Anonymous Coward

    @ Francis Fish

    5% of youngsters may well be in the minority but they're the ones out on the street terrorizing the rest.

    I know cos I used to be one of them, (tho considerably fewer of us were tooled up back then) - believe me, where I came from, the mentality went like this:

    Hoodies: do whatever they want until stopped - believe me, they REALLY don't care. They are aware of the limitations of the police's powers and they will push it to the limit.

    Joe Public: can't do anything about it except call the police, or get head kicked in.

    Police: won't do anything about it unless they actually catch someone in the act.

    Courts: hoodies laugh at courts. The sentences are quite often laughable short.

    Government: won't give the police the powers, or the courts the muscle because of the lefty liberal whine over how they're just kids, and human rights blah blah blah

    Lefty liberals: I bet they don't live on housing estates where hoodies sell crack 10 meters away from young kids playing, thus don't really see reality through their liberal rose tinted specs. That's someone else's story, and it can't really be that bad can it?

    It really can. I know of estates in SE London where you can get anything you want, do anything you want to whoever you want and nothing can be done about it. Unless you get caught or piss off someone bigger and badder than you, you can continue doing it. And there are lots of other youths just like that. Hunting in packs is more fun anyway.

    I've seen mates get addicted to heroin, crack and go to prison, and almost none of them had their fates decided for them as children. They turned from good kids into terrible teenagers and some of them go on to destroy themselves before they become adults.

    I saw the reality for what it was and got out while I was still a relatively innocent teen - I was smart enough to want out.

    The problem with this culture of youth badass-ism is, it's much easier to prevent than cure (by orders of magnitude), but that opportunity is long gone. The way to fix this IMHO is to crack down hard. Three minor strikes and off to military camp for 5 years I reckon.

    Luckily gang culture hasn't yet completely taken hold. If it had when I was 18, I wouldn't have been allowed to walk away so easily.... we need to act now and do everything we can to totally neutralise the evil elements of youth in society, and protect the younger generation from their influence.

    Trust me, the headlines don't even scratch the surface.



  74. david

    I'm 55...

    ...and I can hear atc_teebbuzz. It also makes my scalp tingle.

    Still not a solution to the general problem though. The backlash will come. Someone'll give the little gits a kicking and claim he was if fear of his life citing any number of recent cases.

    The kids round me have seen me wielding my axes, machete and any number of sharp shiny things in pursuit of my legitimate hobby (bow making) and seem to be very respectful...

    Anyone remember Uncle Buck?

  75. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Francis Fish

    Yeah, but when's the last time a week went by without stories of adults attacking/murdering each other?

    Hate to say it, but adults can be anti-social too, and often are. Some middle-aged bloke took a bag of rubbish out of his car and dropped it in my street, practically at my feet. I picked it up and gave him a good glower. He looked genuinely surprised. Of course when a couple of 20-somethings dropped a load of burger detritus in same spot I put my head down and kept walking, and if it had been teenagers I would have walked even faster, but the point remains that selfish no-good asshats come in all sizes.

  76. Spleen


    I would rather spend ten minutes in the company of chavs than some of the socially-deprived morons in this thread. I asked a few days ago who still voted Labour, and here they crawling it out of the woodwork, blaming everything on Thatcher.

    The increase in the 'chav' problem - if it is an increase and not just increased reporting - is down to several factors, of which the most obvious are: 1) the rise of the middle class, rich enough to rob but not rich enough to stay behind private security, 2) increased availability of off-licence alcohol, 3) a more generous welfare state, allowing people to live their lives with no responsibility whatsoever yet not starve or freeze to death, who inevitably produce feral offspring.

    1) and 2) are the product of increased prosperity and liberty respectively, and we're certainly not reversing those. 3) is more debatable, but certainly won't be reversed as long as people have been bribed and brainwashed into blaming all society's ills on individual economic freedoms (usually this is dressed up as blaming globalisation and/or that "uppity bitch" Thatcher), thus allowing the government to ride to the rescue with yet more laws and pork.

  77. Andy

    So the shopkeepers are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts, are they?

    Even if 100% of under-18's are psychopathic thugs -- which, frankly, I think is a tiny bit unlikely -- these boxes are not being put up to dispel crowds of dangerous youths.

    They're being put up because the youths don't come into the shops and spend lots of money.

  78. Steve
    Thumb Up


    Try em for yourself.....

  79. Mark Roome

    Isn't this a little short sighted?

    I may not be a rocket scientist, but this seems a little daft to me. You are taking a lot of effort at keeping teenagers and 20-somethingers out of your shops. So that means that you only get the older generation in your shop (also those with kids will avoid your shop because of fear of their kids hearing being damaged). In effect, you are TRAINING the next generation of spenders to NOT come into your shop at all. Its all fine now, but in 10 - 20 years, you will be kicking yourself while declaring bankrupcy because you drove away your customers.

    Just my thoughts.

  80. Hans Mustermann
    Dead Vulture

    @ Rob Crawford

    So basically you're telling me that your kid (aged 12) and his friend (aged 13) and your old daughters friend (then aged 12) should be subjected to a ceaseless the equivalent of a continuous blast of noise, every time they're outside, because maybe it'll also deterr the few hooligans?

    And, yeah, you may still hear it, but now think that your hearing _did_ decay over time. Maybe not as much as other people's, but it did. They hear it _much_ louder than you do. How would you like to have a horn blaring in your ear all over town, for no more fault than walking past yet another idiot's shop? Because that's what you're proposing to subject the young ones to, including your kids.

    If you can say "yes", then I dare say that you're just as much of a heartless ar**hole as the hooligans you're ranting against. You too have no qualms with causing people pain just because they're there. Regardless of whether they actually did anything to deserve it, or not.

    And you too seem to be missing another point: this is not an apology for chavs. The point is that you can't neatly divide the world into "all X are Y and deserve to be discriminated against" categories. In this case X=teenager and Y=hooligan. Or would you say that your kids are hooligans too?

    That's the message that rubs some of us the wrong way. The whole "they're all hooligans and deserve it" message is just plain all wrong. Regardless of what group you want to discriminate against.

    Or if you're still so fond of age discrimination (because that's what it is), what if it were the other way around? Hey, you're already 44, we don't want old farts like you here.

    Want to buy in this shop? Have a water balloon in the face first. (A milder equivalent to having to run a 15m gauntlet through the sonic weapon.)

    Want to just use the sidewalk in front of my home? Have another water balloon in the face, just because you're an old fart.

    Have a job in some high-tech sector, management thereof included? Get out of the way, you dinosaur. And if you don't want to give it up, we'll make you uncomfortable in it until you do. Have some more water balloons in the face.

    And the latter isn't out of the line, either, btw. Ever considered that a lot of young people end up working in those McDonalds jobs? Why should they endure the discomfort of that stupid thing when they're at work?

    I'm betting that if that applied to you, you'd be screaming "unlawful discrimination" so loud, they'd hear you over the Channel. But, nah, if it's discrimination against young people, it's ok and justified.


  81. Tom Cully

    The expected Ad Hitlerum...

    "The noise is only emitted over a 15 metre radius and no one is taking away the rights of teenagers to walk away."

    And I suppose the Jews could have just moved out of Germany?

  82. Anonymous Coward

    @ Stuart Luscombe

    "I can't vouch for the Daily Mail though as I've never once read it."

    Maybe you should, I get the impression that you would LOVE it.

    Though you'll probably need to be careful that you don't end-up 'sticking the pages together'...

  83. Theresa Jayne Forster

    Not Just Teenagers

    Well, I am 38 and can hear these devices, It usually gives me a splitting migraine

    What about adults....

    Can i sue the inventor or the store for causing me pain and discomfort?

    also most of my friends can hear the mosquito so its not just teenagers who can hear it, what about any adult with good hearing....

  84. Dan
    Paris Hilton

    @David Wiernicki

    "Do I have it coming just because Britain apparently has some horrible problem with groups of ruffians? (Oddly, there's nothing remotely like this going on in the crime-ridden US of A. Go figure.)"

    Ah yes because of course there are no problems at all with gangs, teen crime, guns, or anything like that in the USA. Picture perfect paradise without any problems isn't it..........

  85. JCL
    Thumb Up


    Well said Sarah and Spleen, I completely agree. Yes I've been nervous walking the streets of North London - a kid was knifed not far from my old place a few weeks ago for looking at another kid the wrong way, and another knifed on the bus I used a couple of months ago. Both of these were horrific crimes that are still being felt, but at the same time should we have aimed these devices at both the perpetrators and the victims? Mosquitos will not solve problems, only long term programmes will do that.

    I've tried the link Steve, and can hear all of the tones - are they for real? I'm kicking 40 in April so if they are I'm real surprised I can hear them!

    Dammit my hears hurt now...

  86. Theresa Jayne Forster
    Paris Hilton

    Police dont care

    A neighbour of mines son stood up to the school bully, that night the bully and 8 of his mates went round their house, was caught by the neighbours CCTV and then proceeded to throw a log through the windscreen of the families Winabago.

    When the police came, they gave the guys name and address to the police who said "cant do anything you have no photographic evidence"

    They pointed out the CCTV and the police's response was " cant use it in court, you dont have signs up saying you are recording on CCTV so its inadmissable" they then gave a crime number and said "call your insurance there is nothing we can do".

    So, Yobs/Chavs have Freedom to make our lives hell and there is nothing we can do as we have to prove that they did it, yet someone loitering near a school is immediately accused of being a paedophile and carted away to be investigated.

    What a balanced world we live in.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I haven't encountered one

    but I bet it would annoy the hell out of me. I am a thirtysomething professional with undamaged hearing and if you subject me to something like that you do not want my hard earned cash.

    The only reason these people can't hear it is that they busted their ears with loud music in the pub every friday night and now they're trying to act all superior.

  88. Eden

    Gah so that's what it is!!

    For a while now Milton Keynes Shopping center has been driving me mad (25) with this high pitch noise that gives me headache but my Girlfriend can't hear it (29) and thinks it's part of my Tinitus.

    Now at least I know what it is and why I only hear it in one area as it must be one of the shops there with this thing.

    I understand the concept but I've actually avoided that entire area of the center because this thing grates on me that much, so at least it works but a whole stretch of shops looses my business =/

  89. Steve Roper

    @ "If the kids"

    "There are evil devices slightly larger than a 9volt battery, they randomly beep or wail loudly every X minutes/hour and are impossible to locate in time, the battery lasts for years at this rate. They can be hidden anywhere even chucked into drop ceilings or light fittings."

    Where can I buy these evil devices? What a c*nt act! I can think of a few places that would benefit from the surreptitious insertion of some of these things... like:

    "Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Labor Party we BEEEEEEEEEP! Ahem, here present this Bill for Tranche Three of the Human Rights Reduction Act. We have consulBEEEEEEEEEP! What the devil is that noise? Hm, as I was saying, we have consulted two hundred electorates, and the response has shown BEEEEEEEEEP! WHERE IS THAT DAMN NOISE COMING FROM! Mr Speaker, this session cannot continue if Members will not turn off their BEEEEEEEEEEP! ...." >;D

  90. Rob Crawford


    Hans, it sounds like you live somewhere really nice with lots of social inclusion (so please be quiet or go on a voyage of discovery)

    Don't lecture me about the teenagers / thug debate, I have spent more than enough time working both as a mentor on voluntary projects, in schools and for prisoners welfare organisations. I know the difference between teenager a thug and somebody who has made some mistakes.

    Errr, why would I want my kids hanging around outside of a shop or takeaway food place for long periods? Yes I do remember my teenage years BTW

    Actually I have often had to put up with considerably worse than a waterballoon in the face or being told that I'm old (ohhhh the latter scares me so much I dont sleep anymore) I would much rather be stabbed outside the local kebab shop instead (sole route from the DLR station to where I lived)

    I ended up with 3 cracked ribs, 2 missing teeth and a cop telling me it was my own fault for walking to the shops @ 15:30 on a Saturday afternoon. Apparently I should have known better !

    He then tried to arrest the 3 West Indian kids that had rescued me. The kicking I received was on the pavement right outside the police station the cop had been trying not to exit.

    Oh that was so much better than a water balloon or being told I'm old (though it's much better than being as stupid as you obviously are)

    As for the staff in McDonalds (some kids I have worked with (my own time and expense) are indeed working there) and could quite easily complain under health & safety @ work legislation.

    I suggest that you spend some time in a not so nice area, or better still open a business in one and try a dose of real life.

    The mosquito is not a solution to the problem of thugs that are practically immune to the law (until they kill somebody), but business owners and private citizens have to do something. Considering normal people can get arrested (stabbed, shot or beaten) for telling them to bugger off what is your solution oh wise one ?

    Just heard (about 10 minutes ago) that one of the thugs that assulted my son has been sent to an adventure weekend as punishment ( 3 other assults where taken into account including a 12 year old girl & a police woman) now theres justice for you. Ah well thats me sleeping a bit more soundly

    BTW: I notice many of the anti mosquito (and cat scarer) lobby seem to enjoy the threats of violence.

  91. Steve Wehrle


    "It's assault. No different to shouting at or slapping every young person that comes in."

    Cool ; does that mean that when I get shouted at by the groups of yoiks who congregate around my local shop, I can take them to court for assault?

    Oh, sorry, I forgot. My local police station is only open 9-5 (weekdays only), so there's no chance of getting them arrested.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few facts...

    - There has always been problem children its not a modern phenomenon, indeed during WWII some guy set up a camp for them.

    - Crime deterence doesn't work and never will, there has always been people with suspect morals and probably always will be. America has the death penalty but it doesn't stop murders or other serious crime.

    - This thing is blatantly indiscriminant.

    - The youth have less and less options to fill their time with unless they have access to quite a bit of disposal cash. The reasons for this is the fencing off or building on any playing greens in towns, the shutting down of youth clubs, the proliferation of the 'no ball games' signs everywhere.

    - A must have society, where people are constantly bombarded with marketing tauting the next 'must have', the money thing again.

    Some solutions

    National service might enforce a bit of discipline

    More Youth clubs to give them somewhere to go and a feeling of belonging

    More designated areas in town where they can 'hang out'

    Better vetting of bad role model parents (probably should be sterilized

    but i think thats problem a bit to far)

    Loads more i'm sure but i have work to do :)

  93. eric jackson

    Evil devices

    "There are evil devices slightly larger than a 9volt battery, they randomly beep or wail loudly every X minutes/hour and are impossible to locate in time, the battery lasts for years at this rate. They can be hidden anywhere even chucked into drop ceilings or light fittings."

    Where can I buy these evil devices?

    I built an "electronic cricket" from an Elektor design in the 70's. It was a 555 and a photo detector etc and the idea was to hide it say under the bed of a friend. If it could detect light it would not sound but once it was dark, would chirp after about 5 minutes stopping as soon as the light was turned on by someone looking for it.

    They were very cheap to make which was good as when people eventually found them they tended to be a bit cross.

  94. paul clarke

    Grrrrrr - this makes my blood boil.

    I wanted to comment on this story on the BBC site but there was no way of doing so.

    So here goes.

    All you whiners out there that complain that it hurts your ears when you hang around the shops in gangs and scaring the pants off the old folks - TOUGH!! Get home and do your homework!! Get a life and do something constructive!!

    For those that are affected by this innocently, then you could just approach the shops and ask them nicely if they could only switch the unit on after most normal people have stopped shopping. Say after 8pm I am sure most shop keepers will happily oblige if they know that it is hurting very young children who do not hang around the shops after 8 because the responsible parent has them at home tucked up in bed.

    But for all the other bloody good doers who think this is wrong, then I take it you don't mind paying higher insurance premiums? I take it you don't have an alarm on your car, your home, or anti-virus on your PC?

    They have a right to protect their property from stupid chavvy prats that want to abuse others or cause damage to property. For petes sake. Someone needs a slap around the head.


  95. SpeakerToAliens

    Perhaps an old-fashioned idea should be tried instead...

    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice... And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    You'd only have to do that a couple of time a year and the rest would jump into line.

  96. This post has been deleted by its author

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "sentence the offence"

    A while back when I was between jobs I had the misfortune to catch a few minutes of Kilroy (oh how we miss him, except now we've got the same junk from some other t*ssers instead on a different channel).

    A magistrate was explaining how their rules were to "sentence the offence, and not the offender". IE if you are unlikely enough to actually get caught, and you get caught three times for similar offences, your sentence the third time will be just the same as it was the first time, because they are sentencing the offence and not the offender. And obviously the sentence will be just as ineffective.

    I don't know if it's really true but if it is, it isn't exactly helping the problem (though the chances of most of these troublemakers getting as far as court are minimal anyway). If any of them did get to court and were *visibly* properly dealt with it just might encourage a few folks to think twice.

    Maybe we should have the Chief Constables and the ACCs etc live in the same circumstances as the majority of us for a week or two occasionally, rather than popping down the Lodge with their mates of an evening, and see what changes in police priority result. I do realise the current situation isn't the police's fault, but enforcing the law is what the police are paid for, and is blatantly what they are mostly *not* doing in a lot of places recently.

  98. Hans Mustermann

    @Rob Crawford

    Rob, the problem is that

    1) discrimination, is discrimination, is discrimination.

    You're eseentially telling a whole population segment, and using discomfort and pain to hammer it in, "we don't want your type in our shops, we don't want your type using our sidewalks, we don't want your type getting a job here. Just because you're, for no merit or fault of your own, in category X."

    If X=blacks, it would be called apartheid. Yeah, that's exactly what South Africa did back then. We were against that.

    If X=jews, well, that's (neo)nazism, and now _that_ would get everyone's knickers in a knot.


    But if X=teenagers, we get a bunch of old guys cheering for it. 'Cause, you know, it's easier to blame the teenagers than the world _your_ generation has built.

    2. Hand-picking examples doesn't justify discriminating against a whole group. Because that's what the mosquito does and enforces.

    Yeah, you can pick an example of a few hooligans which happened to be young too. Guess what? Apartheid too could pick and showcase examples taken out of context of all the bad things that blacks do. (In reality, they had a few criminals, same as white folks did.) Discrimination against, say, the Chinese in the USA too was based on showcasing what some isolated individuals did, and painting the whole race as rampant murderers and rapists. Etc.

    The point is that only 3-4% of the population are sociopaths, and are elligible to do that kind of stuff. And that applies to all ages. So you're proposing to give headaches to the other 96-97%, if they happen to be teenagers. Nice.

    3. "business owners and private citizens have to do something"

    That still doesn't justify doing the wrong thing, and targetting the wrong group. It's as simple as that.

    Plus, blatant discrimination rarely works like that. Being told by the world at large that your whole age group or race is a bunch of hooligans, doesn't put one in a mood to be nice in return. If the whole world slaps you in the face unjustly, you want to slap back.

    And again, I see no discrimination there against the real vandals. This device doesn't tell anyone "we'll discriminate you if you're an antisocial bastard", which might have a positive effect. It tells everyone, the good kids included, "we don't want your type here because you're a teenager." It's not the same message, and it's the kind of message that makes one want to fight back.

    4. "Errr, why would I want my kids hanging around outside of a shop or takeaway food place for long periods?"

    Because, even if your kids might not normally fall in this category, there are plenty of shops situated around street corners with traffic lights, bus stations, etc. Places where, you know, people end up waiting whether they like it or not.

    5. "BTW: I notice many of the anti mosquito (and cat scarer) lobby seem to enjoy the threats of violence."

    A straw man, since I never threatened you with any violence. You on the other hand _are_ cheering for something that gives people splitting headaches. So, you know, you're hardly in a position to play the moral high-horse card there.

    6. "though it's much better than being as stupid as you obviously are"

    If you need that to make your point, plus the (I hope deliberate, just for the benefit of the doubt) distorting and misunderstanding what I said,... I rest my case. Heh.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I was a chav

    (had to look that up) would it not be fair to bring a boombox with loud bad (satanic, violent crime, evil, porn, curse words, Wierd Al etc.) noise blaring from it, anytime I was confronted by the mosquito noise?

    Or anytime I was walking in a public place and I encountered a dinosaur? Perhaps I could add some jumping around, hollering and flailing about. As long as I don't physically assault them it's ok right? Even if we gather, and systematically target everyone over 30 in public? Picture that for every 80 year old with a walker, trying to get out for a bit. Just what we need, more tools to hurt each other. Another news flash..... in the LONG run they'll win, always do.

    Biologically they ARE you. It's how DNA works. If they're stupid, they learned it by watching you. Or watching you abandon them.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    No sympathy

    If, like me, you'd had your car regularly keyed by subhuman feral kiddywinks then you might, like me, think that anything to get these scum of the streets might be a good idea.

  101. Dana W


    I just downloaded it, I'm 43 and I can hear it plainly.

  102. J
    Thumb Down

    @ Dan

    Read again:

    >"Do I have it coming just because Britain apparently has some horrible problem with groups of ruffians? (Oddly, there's nothing remotely like this going on in the crime-ridden US of A. Go figure.)"

    >>Ah yes because of course there are no problems at all with gangs, teen crime, guns, or anything like that in the USA. Picture perfect paradise without any problems isn't it..........

    Nothing remotely like this apparently refers to the Mosquito thing, not the crime. Context is everything. And "crime-ridden US of A" seems to point in some direction too.

  103. Anonymous Vulture

    Chavs in the US of A

    Disclaimer: I'm a twenty something lucky enough to be a in professional position relevant to my degree and that noise drives me absolute insane. Now onwards:

    While this may not be an ideal solution there needs to be SOMETHING done about groups of young people, loitering in packs (no other word for it really), in front of shops and elsewhere. It deters traffic to the store, and while the majority might be 'just hanging out', you will often see a distracted shopkeeper trying to do business while keeping another eye out for shoplifting attempts. A local shopping area recently banned groups larger than three after certain hours and found themselves on the wrong end of a 'right to assemble' lawsuit. Thankfully common sense prevailed and it was tossed. I've never seen the place so busy since.

    I'm a fairly tall individual and I've encountered several attempts to 'bum a dollar' from these kind of groups, sometimes late at night when I'm out with friends. They can get demonstrably violent if refused, or even if accommodated. One of my female friends made the mistake of opening her purse to fetch a dollar and was invited 'not to be so stingy' and was set upon by the entire group (none of whom could have been older than 15). Thankfully we've not yet been stripped of our right to self defense and they were dissuaded by the offer of some high velocity trans-cortical lead therapy to go with their dollar. Although if she'd actually done it there would have been SOME lawsuit. If you're under 18 you're automatically a victim don't you know?

    But I digress. Its both a social issue and an enforcement issue. There are laws on the books against loitering, its just a matter of enforcing them, perhaps with a little community service rather than the usual talking to from an overworked judge. Even if its digging drainage ditches. Sounds like that might be useful across the pond as well. Socially...well that's a problem you can't tackle in an El Reg comment box.

    As to the comment that we don't have adult chavs here in the US? We may not have them, but the organized gang issue is more than enough thank you kindly.

    Mine's the with 'Generation Why?' on the back. Thanks.

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Noise pollution

    If somebody puts one of these where I can hear it from my door can I do them for noise pollution please?

  105. Red Bren

    Who created the problem?

    We won't pay for their education because it costs too much

    We won't give them somewhere to socialise because it costs too much

    We outsource everything to third world rather than employing their parents because it costs too much

    What will these kids have to say when we're depending on them to look after us in our old age... All together now - It costs too much!

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yes, we have gangbangers here. Gangbangers tend to shoot / stab / etc other gangbangers. Gangbangers do not tend to loiter in malls, because they are gangbangers and have better things to do.

    They're dangerous thugs who will do bad things to you if they feel it suits them, but they act with some purpose - their own monetary enrichment.

    The 'chavs' I hear described act nothing like that - from what I'm hearing they're all over the place, in major malls with lots of traffic during the day, in great gobs choking every store entrance and street corner.

    I've spent plenty of time in nice, medium, and not nice areas all over the US, and have *NEVER* seen a group of random kids hanging about harassing people. Not once. Not even in the dodgy sections of Brooklyn.

    There's places I won't go at 3am, sure - but that's because I fear actual *crime*, not some bunch of loudmouthed assholes who go after me just for the hell of it.

    The people we're talking about are totally different. Your Chavs are lazy assholes who inhabit normal, middle-class malls in large packs and go after people just for existing.

    Our criminals are determined assholes who inhabit bad sections of town on the street and go after people for interfering in gang business or in order to relieve them of their cash.

    The most disturbing thing I have seen at any shopping center or mall from Boston to Los Angeles is that 12-year-old girls wear pants with 'JUICY' written across the ass.

    The US has crime; of course we do. We do not have chavs. Why does the UK? Maybe if you answered that question instead of assuming everyone under 30 is a criminal you'd come closer to solving the problem.

  107. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Human Rights

    "While I do think these Mosquito things are pointless, I have to wonder. Is it not a violation of my Human Rights that I cant walk down to the corner shop without getting yelled at, spat at and/or beaten up by the local teenage mob?"

    It is a violation of your human rights to be assaulted by the teenagers or anyone else. And (in most parts of the world) it is a criminal offense to assault another person. When it happens, the full weight of the law should be applied to those miscreants.

    The problem lies in the fact that in many "civilized" parts of the world, a juvenile criminal isn't punished. Instead they are given a lecture, maybe get to stay in a juvenile justice center (which is often as nice as a decent hotel), and then let back out on the streets. Since they have paid small consequences for their actions, they rinse and repeat. And eventually escalate to worse crimes.

    Try housebreaking a dog by talking to it and see how long it takes. Same principles of housebreaking apply to socializing children - a quick punishment followed by forgiveness. Sadly parts of the world have decided that any form of spanking/punishment counts as child abuse (See the insanity promoted by the states of California and Massachusetts). It's the same mindset that causes parents to give in to their whining kids and buy them toys to shut them up.

    My coat is the slightly worn green one.

    (btw - while I am in favor of spanking as a form of discipline for children, I am also in favor of punishing actual child abusers, preferably with a method that involves biting ants or caning.)

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is nothing like this in the USA

    because some young gangster would boast about taking it down with one shot.

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Anyone comparing this to the Holocaust deserves a swift kick in the plums. I live in a village where no-one dares go out after 4pm, it's a no-go area for the police too. Plenty of youth programmes and activities, but a lot of them would rather loiter and cause trouble. The problem is that some of them are from families with 3 generations of idle layabouts who've never worked. These brats think this world owes them a living.

  110. Joe

    I remember this a year(ish) ago....

    There was a news article about this, they even had an mp3 of the noise. The comments section was littered with people over the age of 25 who could hear it. I was one of those that could.

    There was a follow up article a couple of weeks later stating that school kids were using it as a ringtone, as the teacher couldn't hear it in class.

  111. Shaun
    Dead Vulture


    You mean like... voting?

  112. Sam

    @Theresa Jayne Forster

    AFAIK only commercial premises have to display the sign, I think you'll find your local police are just big nancies.

  113. Andy Worth

    Hearing difficulties?

    I actually wait to see how many people sue because of hearing difficulties caused by these very loud, high-pitched devices. If you listen to any noise at sufficient volume then it can damage your hearing, so a very high-pitched noise is no different. Several people on here have already said after listening to the tone they could hear it still even once it was off, I'd be interested to know for how long?

    As others have said though, this just tackles the symptom without touching on the cause. In society, a healthy fear of the repercussions of doing wrong is quite...well healthy. There also need to be changes made so it is much less "easy" to scrounge from the government and live on benefits (excluding those who [b]genuinely[/b] need them). Finally, they need to tackle the whole "respect" issue, and teach these people what it is like to lose something that they value.

    As for anyone who says "yeah but how many kids like this have you really met?", the answer is plenty....every weekend when the 15 year olds manage to buy or nick vodka from their local shops or parents drink cabinets. People have DIED because of these little shits and frankly something needs to be done. Look at Gary Newlove, he died because the police did (or were powerless to do - not sure which) fuck all about the yobs in their area. The laws need to be changed so that the fuckers who actually do cause trouble (and I appreciate it's a minority) are dealt with before it gets out of hand.

  114. Dave Cheetham

    Age Discrimination

    I thought it was now against the law to discriminate on the grounds of age. By this only working on under 25s, I am feeling deprived of the mosquito noise. Who should I sue?

    Punishing anyone for being under 25 indiscriminately is WRONG. I hate the yobs who make life a misery as much as anyone, but this is not the solution.

  115. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Age is no limit either.

    I'm 26, and last night I did some testing (after reading about this on BBC website).

    I generated some tones using Audacity at various frequencies within the range this device uses. I played them on normal old speakers (70's 3 ways built by GE, and with the original cones) powered by a Marantz amp.

    I could hear the lower half of the range these devices use very clearly. And it hurts just for 5 seconds.

    What's more worrying though, is the fact that less than 2 minutes of exposure to this left a ringing in my ears for another 10-15 minutes.

    If they turn up in my area, I'll be pissed off... And remember, I'm 10 years older than the target age range!

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works Both Ways

    I am a police officer who spends much of his time responding to “nuisance youths” calls. Whilst there are a regular few nasty pieces of work, most of these “nuisance youths” are just kids being kids. But the problem is that due to the reputation of the genuinely bad ones coupled with hysterical tabloid reporting, it’s a fact of life that many adults, especially the elderly, are now conditioned to feel afraid of any congregation of more than two teenagers, especially if they are wearing hoodies. Yes, you can argue till the cows come home that this is stereotyping, but that’s human nature – be it right or wrong. So it comes down to explaining to kids who are congregating outside shops, innocently in most cases, that people do find them intimidating. Some of them will just see this as “well that’s their problem”, to others it’s a genuine eye-opener, but such is the pack influence that once one member of the gang sees the reality, the whole gang tends to be happy to move to loiter somewhere more discreet. And as for the “well we’ve got nothing else to do”, I just tend to ask them why if that’s the case, in a town of a hundred or so youths of the same age group, how come the other 95% have found something to do?

    On the other hand, it’s sometimes a matter of just calling on the informant who’s complained about “noisy yobs playing football on the park” and asking him whether he ever used to play football on the park when he was young.

    The bottom line is both “sides” have got rights, but sometimes there’s a conflict between the two. In those cases, it’s a matter of coming to a compromise – doggedly refusing to do so just sees the situation worsen over time.

  117. Anonymous Coward

    In to the Third generation (or more)

    Someone waaaay back in the thread mentioned "only 3-4%" as the number who cause trouble; maybe at the beginning that figure may have been true.

    But who honestly thinks that a sub-moronic chav, barely able to read and leeching off the state without ever having a job is going to raise children who are NOT sub-moronic chavs, barely able to read etc...

    As someone who has to work with these children, and deal with the parents and grandparents I can say that we are at least three generations into this problem, and it will only get worse.

    You only have to look at what educational state our children are leaving school in; claims that the exams have not been dumbed down are easily refuted. my misguided son is dating a girl who is in remedial reading and writing during her exam year, yet she is expected to "achieve" grade "C" in her exams!!!

    Grade F@*King C!!!!

    She cant do joined up writing!!!!

    Chav grandparents?? Oh YES!! I drove up towards a junction and woke up a pair in their late 50's who wandered out into the road without looking. no I didnt sound my horn or shout, I just locked up my brakes trying to avoid hitting them. I had abuse screamed at me by both of them, until I got out and towered over them when ( like all chav cowards) they legged it.

    I tried the ringtones and considered loading them on some directional speakers at work, as we have a problem with drunken teenagers abusing our staff and the parents of the children we look after, but if I can hear them at 43 and after youth spent in nightclubs (Wednesday-Saturday), they must be shite.

    I find some old BBC MusicBox tapes aimed at 3-4 year olds work pretty well; at least with the chavs aged under 20; I think the older ones are actually turning up to listen to them in the hope they might learn something.

    Prior to this, the most effective way of dissuading them from congregating outside and abusing people was to go out into the crowd (usually 10-20) grab the mouthiest one by the throat and hoist him into the air and tell them quietly what I would do if I caught them abusing the women staff again; they tend to stay away when they see my car now.

    Quite menace works far better than shouting, especially when you are 6`6" and 300lbs

    The heart is because its nearly Valentines day and I miss my girl; she is only a few thousand miles away :-(

    Anonymously posted because it could cost me my job to admit I touched a chav.

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By a happy coincidence..

    Readers of this thread may find todays posting here of some interest:

  119. The Mighty Biff


    It's gone all Daily Mail on the Reg comment board.

    What's the effect of these Mosquito devices on house prices, that's what I want to know.

    And are they doubly effective on foreign teenagers ?

  120. Anony mouse


    The joys of screaming tinitus

  121. Charlie

    This is wrong in so many ways!

    Primarily because children (and in-fact everyone) should learn right from wrong thru deductive reasoning rather than by threart of harm or injury.

  122. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    Surely illegal ?

    In my town we have an old clock tower, when I say old, it's a century or two old. Guess what, like many old clock towers it chimes, audibly, which was once a service to the townsfolk who didn't have a clock of their own.

    Of course, people that live in the town are used to it, even like it.

    But a few years ago, some <insert expletive> woman moved into the town and AFTER moving in decided that she didn't like the noise of the clock. So the clock was silenced under threat of criminal proceedings for statutory nuisance.

    So if nuisance laws allow a stupid woman to have a chiming clock silenced that most of us in the town agreed she should not have moved within earshot of, surely these devices are also causing statutory nuisance and can be shut down (forcibly if needed) by the local council. Certainly, if I come across one then I'll be onto the councils environmental control department straight away.

    And for the record, I'm 100% behind those enlightened posters above who are able to see that these devices do not even attempt to treat the underlying problems and will, in the long term, simply make them worse. And yes, I can tell you that I have suffered from various forms of attack and bullying over the years - but I do NOT support such stupid measures as these.

    But I can understand why some people should feel they are forced into it by inaction by those who COULD deal with the problems.

    Completely coincidentally I was in a special needs school today doing some IT work - the school deals with problem youngsters who have probably been excluded from normal schools. They had a poster on the wall in the office, which (having done a quick search) I now find to be an abridged version of "Children Learn What They Live" by Dorothy Law Nolte - I suggest a few of you look it up and read it, because (IMHO) it's quite true.

    The first stanza (of the approved abridged version goes :

    If children live with criticism,

    They learn to condemn.

    If children live with hostility,

    They learn to fight.

    If children live with ridicule,

    They learn to be shy.

    If children live with shame,

    They learn to feel guilty.

    Many of the attitudes expressed above fit all four of those negatives - so if you hurl criticism, hostility, ridicule and shame on some section of the community (in this case all "teenagers"), how on earth can you reasonably expect anything other than the outcome above ?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way trying to claim there is no problem, just point out that the approach advocated will do nothing but make them worse.

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