Whistle boxes to scare problem youths

SPECIAL boxes emitting highly pitched sounds which only young people can hear are to be used in west Suffolk to combat anti-social behaviour.But the purchase of Mosquito Boxes by Forest Heath District Council has sparked concerns among those representing young people, who claim young people gather in certain areas because they have nowhere else to go.

SPECIAL boxes emitting highly pitched sounds which only young people can hear are to be used in west Suffolk to combat anti-social behaviour.

But the purchase of Mosquito Boxes by Forest Heath District Council has sparked concerns among those representing young people, who claim young people gather in certain areas because they have nowhere else to go.

The boxes emit a high frequency sound which resembles a harsh whistle and is only audible to young people. The idea behind them is they can be placed in areas of concern to stop young people gathering.

The council has bought two boxes - which cost about £500 each - and will most likely use them in car park areas.


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At the same time, the council has relaunched its “incident report forms” which are meant to encourage victims of anti-social behaviour.

Lesley-Ann Gyte, the council's community safety co-ordinator, said the special boxes were not yet installed.

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She said: “They have been successful in other parts of the country.

“We have the same type of issues that all rural areas have. We get one off reports and we deal with them as they arise but we have not a huge problem with anti-social behaviour.”

She said the boxes would be installed in problem car parks, most probably the Rookery Car Park in Newmarket, where complaints have been made about young people congregating.

Emrys Green, Suffolk Youth Parliament member for West Suffolk, said: “They are irritating to young people but they could be useful for the council.

“I think it highlights the need to have somewhere young people can go. If provision was made for them they would not need to meet up outside a shopping area. Without somewhere else to go, shopping areas are often the best place because they are safe, there's CCTV and they tend to be well lit.

“These boxes are irritating. They emit a high pitch frequency a bit like somebody whistling but worse than a whistle. You can only stand it for a little while.”

laurence.cawley@eadt.co.uk

The strange world of mosquito boxes:

The ability to hear high frequencies deteriorates with age through a process called presbycusis

The sounds emitted can be heard by people under the age of 20 and very few people above the age of the 30 can hear the sound

The first Mosquito Box was tested in Newport, Wales, where it successfully stopped young people gathering outside a grocery store

The product was released on general sale last year

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