By Robert McTighe
The Scottish Youth Parliament met last week at Holyrood to discuss banning a device intended to combat anti-social behaviour among youths.
The youth parliament met to discuss a variety of topics concerning young people in Scotland, however, discussion of the device was top of the agenda. The device, dubbed ‘The Mosquito’ by its inventor Howard Stapleton, emits a high-pitch frequency noise that can only be heard by people below the age of 25. The device was designed to disperse groups of youths loitering in public places.
Not everyone is happy with the mosquito device and there have been many people opposed to the idea. Scottish Youth Parliament member Andrew Deans, 17, from Aberdeen raised a motion to have the device banned in Scotland. Deans said “The device stigmatises and generalises young people as bad people, this is unfair”, he went on to say “most young people aren’t bad, and they behave well, this devices however punishes every young person.”
Deans went on to say that other methods could be used to reduce youth crime: “More initiatives could be created to give young people more things to do, more police could be employed and asked to patrol areas, there are a variety of things than can be used apart from the mosquito”.
Several other objections against the device were heard in the youth parliament during the debate, primarily that the noise can be dangerous to very young people and the noise is actually amplified in the hearing aids of the deaf.
It is unknown exactly how many mosquito devices there are due to the device being used by private properties but Deans estimated that there were roughly 3,000 in the country.
Local city councils presently have devolved powers to ban mosquito devices in their areas. The city councils of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow have currently banned the device. Andrew Deans hopes to make sure there is a ban all over the country, “We would like to extend the ban because this affects young people all over the country and it simply persecutes the vast majority of young people that are law abiding”.