Mosquito causes buzz as Scottish Grocers' Federation defends deterrent's use

11 July, 2008

The Scottish Grocers' Federation has defended the use of Mosquitoes - the devices emitting high-pitched noise that only young people can hear - to deter antisocial behaviour outside shops.

Chief executive John Drummond spoke out after MSP Bill Kidd lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament encouraging local authorities to follow Edinburgh City Council

and outlaw the device.

"Politicians

blame

retailers for antisocial problems caused by

young people, yet are unwilling to make

the culprits take responsibility

," Drummond said.

"Many of our members

use a Mosquito device

as a last resort

to disperse

youngsters

outside shops, who are often intimidating

customers and staff. Members

use the device

sparingly, to reduce the threat of antisocial behaviour."

The Mosquito is completely harmless and has undergone rigorous independent tests, according to the manufacturer, Compound Security Systems.

Commercial director Si Morris said: "Our customers rely on the Mosquito to improve

quality of life for their residents, reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in communities, and to protect public areas . Our product is a safe and instant solution to a widespread problem."

Critics claim it demonises youngsters . Last year, Children's Commissioner Al Aynsley-Green said the device

breached human rights. Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti added: "What type of society uses a low-level sonic weapon on its children?" Around 3,500

Mosquitoes are estimated to be in use

nationally, in areas such as parks and shopping centres.




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