It seems First Great Western has been leaving its Mosquito teen-deterrent on during the school run at Teignmouth Station – not such a refreshing wake-up call, ehh? And rather than being condemned for keeping it on, it’s been applauded for turning it off (you see the twisted logic?)
The news that First Great Western will be switching off the Mosquito at Teignmouth station when it is not appropriate has been warmly welcomed by South Devon Liberal Youth who have been campaigning against the indiscriminate use of this deterrent.
Apparently, The Mosquito is based on devices originally used for pest control on vermin such as rats and is now being installed outside businesses, shops and railway stations throughout the country to deter young people from gathering in large groups and so combat anti social behaviour. It emits a high frequency sound that is only audible to those under 25 and is recommended for use for up to 20 minutes causing discomfort to younger ears.
However, opposers believe the indiscriminate use of this device targets all young people, including babies, and in some circumstances they can be exposed for much longer periods.
(Anyone considered the issue that your child could be subject to interference you yourself knows nothing about? Then there’s also equating the youth population to rats that may seem a little demeaning.)
Dominic Falcao, chair of South Devon Liberal Youth, said: “The support we’ve had has been overwhelming, with our MP Richard Younger-Ross, 11Million.org.uk and the Liberal Youth network all pulling together to back our campaign.
“The fact that the device was operated in this way for so long, despite numerous letters to the press and First Great Western from individuals, demonstrates that local Liberal Youth groups like ours are necessary to have the views of young people heard. The unacceptable aspect of this is that the “Mosquito” has been allowed to operate at all in this supposedly liberal country. Organisations should be putting the money into youth centres and youth workers – not weapons that stigmatize youth.”
In the past month Mr Younger-Ross brought this issue up with FGW’s Chief Executive Mark Hopwood who has told him that measures will now be put in place to prevent its use at inappropriate times.
Curbing an inappropriate use of crowd control, big whoop Mark – if you can’t use your toys properly, maybe they should be taken away.
• Should the Mosquito buzz off or should teens just generally be ‘deterred’? Comments below, please