A FUTURISTIC device which sends out an insufferably grating noise only audible to teenagers is coming to Reading.
The cunning little gadget, called the Mosquito, is being installed in shops in Earley to drive away loitering adolescents.
The equipment emits a noise at a high frequency only audible to people aged under 20.
Reports from other areas of the country where Mosquito has been used have claimed the noise is unbearably annoying to teenage ears.
It will be installed in the shops at Maiden Place, Earley, and shopkeepers can manually adjust the frequency so that it sound does not bother everyone.
Earley beat officer PC Stuart Loudwell said: “Maiden Place is patrolled daily by officers and police community support officers to discourage anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.
“Over the next couple of months a Mosquito device will be installed at the shops to prevent groups of youths loitering and causing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.
“The Mosquito, which is supported by the shopkeepers, sends out high-pitched sound waves, persuading youths to move on from areas where they are causing a nuisance.”
The technology, called Sonic Teenager Deterrent, was piloted in Staffordshire.
Ray Jones, chairman of the Maiden Place Residents’ Association, said youths regularly gathered outside the shops.
Mr Jones, 72, of Instow Road, said: “I don’t go out much in the evenings except to go to meetings. There are gangs of youths outside shops.
“I think people are afraid to confront them. Gangs also hang around in Sol Joel Park and Laurel Park.”
PC Loudwell added: “High-visibility patrols are taking place around Sol Joel Park, mainly in the evening
“I would like to stress that many of the youths are well-behaved. It is the small minority who ruin it for others.
“We have been working with the town council and shrubbery has been cut back to make the park more visible. We are also carrying out routine patrols around Laurel Park.
“There is a historical issue with young people gathering there.”
Publication Reading Evening Post
Date 27 September 2007