EU rejects bid to ban Mosquito
AN ATTEMPT to get the anti-teenager Mosquito device banned by the European Union has fallen at the first hurdle.
Plymouth City Council is considering whether to ban the sonic repellant device on its own premises.
An inquiry chaired by Cllr David James (Con, Plympton St Mary) heard there were 22 Mosquito devices installed on three council buildings in Whitleigh.
The council's anti-social behaviour unit has another two devices which can be used where they are needed.
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Several schools in the city have admitted they use the Mosquitoes to keep vandals away from school buildings after hours.
Now a motion by London MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, asking the European parliament to ban the use of the Mosquito, has failed to get enough signatures from MEPs to move forward to full debate.
Lady Ludford, a Liberal Democrat MEP, said: "I'm strongly opposed to the use of Mosquito devices, as they are targeted solely at young people and treat them like pests.
"There would rightly be outrage if men, black people, old people or any other group in society were treated in such a discriminatory way.
"Although the Mosquito is deliberately unpleasant and causes discomfort, no research has been done into possible harm to hearing or health. A much better approach to deal with the minority of youngsters who cause trouble is more engagement with them through youth services and more bobbies on the beat."
Si Morris, commercial director of CSS Ltd, the inventors of the Mosquito, said: "CSS Ltd agrees the only way to solve the problem of anti-social behaviour is for the Government to institute serious long term social programmes and to increase police visibility.
"But we also stand by our position that, in the short to medium term, the Mosquito gives a small measure of ability to a small number of people to passively and benignly stop their lives and property being destroyed by a minority of teenagers who act in an anti-social manner."