A Welsh business which developed an ultrasonic device to deter nuisance gangs of youths has won a multi-million pound deal in its first year.
An American company is to take on the marketing of the Mosquito device, which was developed in Merthyr Tydfil.
The Mosquito emits a high-pitched noise that can only be heard by young people and has a record of driving gangs away from trouble spots.
More than 1,000 of the boxes have been sold, including to police forces.
Until now, Mosquito Loitering Solutions System’s (CSS) Mosquito box launched in January has been manufactured in Cardiff at the rate of 120 units a week.
But demand has already started to outstrip supply, and the company has signed a deal with Cwmbran-based Fulleon to take over the production.
Fulleon’s Texas parent company Cooper-Menvier have also signed a global distribution deal which according to CSS will net them £1.5m in the first year.
“We have negotiated a very healthy royalty in sales,” said Simon Morris, director of CSS.
“We are now launching another security-related project within the next few months.”
Interest in the Mosquito has already come from Holland where a separate distribution deal has been agreed and now the firm sees new markets opening up in Canada, America and the Far East, said Mr Morris,
He said the Metropolitan Police had bought 33 Mosquito units and also among its customers was a Nottingham pizza operation, which he said, had not had a single problem with troublesome youths since installing the device.
The device sends out a high pitched irritating noise
The Mosquito was invented by Howard Stapleton last August after his 14-year-old daughter returned empty-handed from a trip to the shop because of the rowdy teenagers outside.
“As a father I realise the majority of young people are fun-loving and law abiding,” said Mr Stapleton.
“I find it sad that a system is needed to combat lawlessness but its proven effectiveness shows how much it is needed to improve our communities.”
There have been some complaints that the device breached human rights of young people as it was “indiscriminate”.
But Mr Morris said they had spent £25,000 in the last two months looking into the matter, and they were happy they were not breaching human rights nor any environmental laws.
He said the noise given out by the box, which costs about £500, was audible over five to 10 minutes to most teenagers but not all.
“It’s not an all out assault that makes a teenager fall to their ground clasping their head.”
Robert Campbell of Fulleon said: “We recognise the Mosquito is an innovative product that serves the needs of customers as well as communities.
“Destruction of these unruly gangs threatens business owners and the communities where they operate”
Date 14 May 2006