Council removes Mosquito alarms after Scottish Youth Parliament pressure

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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“MOSQUITO alarms” that target under-25s have been outlawed after pressure from young politicians.

It follows claims that the high-pitch noise they emit induce nausea, dizziness and pain in children.

Council bosses have promised to remove the devices from schools across Perth and Kinross.

The boxes were fitted in an effort to disperse teenage gangs, following complaints from local residents.

The machines emit an annoying beeping noise which can only be heard by people under 25.

Now Perth and Kinross Council has agreed to take down all boxes from eight of its schools, just weeks after the youth parliament’s campaign was highlighted in the pages of The Courier.

READ MORE: Controversial anti-teen Mosquito device installed at Hamilton station

Young parliamentarians have welcomed the move and claimed it as an early victory in 2018, setting the tone for Scotland’s Year of Young People. High-frequency “mosquito” alarms, used to disperse loitering teenage gangs, will be removed from schools across Perth and Kinross.

Council bosses have agreed to axe the controversial sonic devices following pressure from young politicians.

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament argued the boxes, which emit an annoying beeping noise only audible to under-25s, were discriminatory and contravened children’s rights.

Earlier this month, Perth and Kinross Council confirmed it had eight devices at schools, but declined to say where they were. It is understood one was fitted at Luncarty Primary after complaints about teenagers hanging around the building after dark.

Just days after the youth parliament’s campaign was highlighted by The Courier, Perth and Kinross Council assured that the mosquito boxes will be scrapped.

A spokesman said: “I can confirm the council has decided to remove all ‘mosquito’ devices from school buildings in the area following a review.”

The news was welcomed by campaigners.

Fraser Macdonald, a youth parliament member for Perthshire South, said: “This is definitely welcome news, it is the first step to getting rid of all of these devices, and the Scottish Youth Parliament is very pleased the council have committed to doing this.

“With that being said, these devices are still in use in other areas such as train stations, high streets and in some shops. Of course we understand that the council does not have control over the privately placed devices, but a statement from the council condemning all use of them would greatly benefit our cause.”

He added: “The Scottish Youth Parliament hopes that all the mosquito devices are removed from every public space, including shops, not just schools.

“I would also ask anyone who hears or learns of these devices being used to contact myself, or the Scottish Youth Parliament, in order for us to lobby people to get them removed.

“Once again, these devices are a direct violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and categorically discriminate against young and disabled people, whenever they are used.

“Due to this, and a myriad of other reasons, the Scottish Youth Parliament believe that they should be removed, and the use of them criminalised.”

Robert McCall, a member of the youth parliament for Perthshire North, said: “I am of course very pleased that the council is removing these devices.

“It clearly shows the council’s commitment to upholding fair and proportionate responses, and sets a tone for the Year of Young People that young people are welcome and valued in their communities.”

Mosquito devices work at a frequency of 16.5khz, which by the age of 25 most people have lost the ability to hear.

READ MORE: Scottish Government ‘not opposed’ to ‘mosquito’ device ban