Home > Discrimination Issues > Is the Mosquito Alarm an Infringement on Human Rights?

Is the Mosquito Alarm an Infringement on Human Rights?

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 7 Nov 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Mosquito Alarm Human Rights Anti Social

The Mosquito Alarm is a device designed to stop anti social behaviour. But this alarm has caused controversy with many people claiming that it is an infringement of human rights.

How the Mosquito Alarm Works

The Mosquito Alarm was designed to stop anti social behaviour such as loitering in public places. The device emits a high frequency tone that although harmless is irritating to those who can hear it. The tone emitted from the device is aimed at teenagers and people under 25 years old. The company that makes this device claim the sound cannot be heard by people over 25 years old. The manufacturers also claim it will only take five to ten minutes before the sound forces people to move on.

Where the Mosquito Alarm Are Used

The Mosquito Alarm has been designed for use in areas where loitering occurs. This could be subway tunnels, car parks and outside of shops. Some local police forces have already purchased this alarm system, as have many shopkeepers and home owners. Although the alarm is aimed at dispersing those under 25 there is a setting that can be used for people of any age group. The range of the alarm is between 30 and 40 meters, and the sound does not travel through solid objects such as walls.

Controversy over the Mosquito Alarm

There have been calls from human rights groups to ban the Mosquito Alarm. According to groups such as Liberty this alarm is an infringement of young people’s rights. Campaigners have described this device as ‘a sonic weapon designed against children and young people’. The device is said to discriminate against a certain age group, those under 25 years old. There is no protection for those under 25 years old who are not loitering but are simply passing by. The device has also alarmed many parents as it can be heard by very small children and babies who have acute hearing.

The Rights of the Victims of Anti Social Behaviour

The victims of anti social behaviour have a right to protect themselves according to the manufacturers of the Mosquito Alarm. Thousands of these devices have been sold in the UK to disgruntled home owners and shopkeepers trying to stop loitering outside their property. Many police forces and councils throughout the UK have purchased quantities of the alarms. But councils such as Edinburgh and Kent have actually listened to the campaigners and banned the use of this alarm.

Campaigns to Stamp out the Mosquito Alarm

Campaigns are presently underway to ban the use of the Mosquito Alarm. Human rights groups such as Liberty are supporting the campaigns to ban this alarm. The issue has been raised in the European Parliament and has also been raised at the European Youth Council. The problems that arise from the Mosquito Alarm include:

  • The device affects all young people and does not just target those behaving badly
  • It is specifically designed to target young people when adults could be the cause of anti social behaviour
  • The device provides extreme discomfort to young people and treats them similar to a garden pest
  • The device can affect a baby’s hearing while mothers are unaware why their children are in pain
  • The device does not encourage young people to behave but it automatically assumes they will not behave
  • The device is not a long term solution to loitering but simply moves the problem elsewhere
  • It can adversely affect young people with autism
  • The device is discriminatory and degrading emitting a sound that is unbearable and distressing

Helping With the Campaign to Ban the Mosquito Alarm

Those who do agree with the human rights campaigners can provide their support, which may help to ban this device. Liberty provides an online support form that can be completed by anyone who has seen or been affected by these devices. Some people have actually written to retailers that stock the Mosquito Alarm and complained. This has resulted in the device being removed from certain stores once the retailers were aware of the device’s harmful effects.

Anti social behaviour can be a real problem in some areas of the UK. But inflicting pain and causing discomfort to a certain age group does seem to be an infringement of human rights. The Mosquito Alarm has been banned in certain UK towns and cities. The campaign against this device looks set to run until an agreeable solution can be found.

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My son has downs syndrome next door work from home they are using the mosquito alarm to keep him out of our garden he is 15 and hose on after school at 4 with in 10 mins they turn this on pointing into our garden
Arty - 7-Nov-16 @ 11:03 PM
these devices are important against yobs. Police appear to do nothing There would be no need for such drastic action if there were not any yobs. Put them in the army for two years. They would soon come out different people
waygoodotisexpress41 - 26-Oct-16 @ 10:26 PM
I just did some work on a golf course on common land and the commons is there for all to enjoy but i could hear this annoying noise im 43 its in a garden that backs onto the commons i couldnt concentrate on my work because of this noisey mosquito alarm i feel it is a infringment on my rights to enjoy what little we have of our commons left
Gilgamesh - 12-Aug-16 @ 3:38 PM
creative3 - Your Question:
How do I find out which neighbour has one of these machines. It's driving my poor children to despair. My neighbourhood is very quite, surprisingly with the amount of young families that live around here.

Our Response:
Can you ask your local PCSO to make some enquiries? You could try making a complaint to environmental health. Their noise monitoring equipment might be able to trace the source of the noise. We're not sure whether they will treat this as a noise nuisance but if they don't/can't, and your children are suffering, you may be able to take a private legal action.
CivilRightsMovement - 28-Jun-16 @ 11:31 AM
How do I find out which neighbour has one of these machines. It's driving my poor children to despair. My neighbourhood is very quite, surprisingly with the amount of young families that live around here.
creative3 - 26-Jun-16 @ 2:02 PM
charl322 - Your Question:
So I am thirteen and I have only just started my paper round it was yesterday when I did it with two of my friends and we all heard a really high pitch noise as we got closer and closer to the house we all got really bad headaches and the youngest Melissa started crying and got dizzy so had to sit down. but it's fine because apparently all of this is "safe" bear in mind that we know what house it is and I have to deliver to that house. we all still have banging headaches and I am seeing spots and have ringing in my ears also I am so dizzy any ideas of what I can do? thanks

Our Response:
Try having a word with the newsagent you work for. He might be able to have a word with the owner of the house...or tell them he can't deliver their paper because of it.
CivilRightsMovement - 9-May-16 @ 2:44 PM
so I am thirteen and i have only just started my paper round it was yesterday when I did it with two of my friends and we all heard a really high pitch noise as we got closer and closer to the house we all got really bad headaches and the youngest Melissa started crying and got dizzy so had to sit down... but it's fine because apparently all of this is "safe" bear in mind that we know what house it is and I have to deliver to that house.... we all still have banging headaches and I am seeing spots and have ringing in my ears also I am so dizzy any ideas of what I can do?thanks
charl322 - 7-May-16 @ 8:19 AM
Azura - Your Question:
Dear all,I have a direct neighbour where the house is tenanted to too many young men, all eastern European, all heavy drinkers who love to party and play loud music ~ night & in the day ( the council will do nothing , the guys can do anything they like in the day too ) They also congregate outside in the garden and are so loud you can hear them indoors, in the summer the garden is a no go place.Can anyone advise me on the mosquito and if this could or something else be helpful.I have exceptionally good sound detection and although approaching 50 I know I would hear this however I wonder if I could erect a device I could put on hold remote control or 2 on/of positions one near my summer house / office and one near my side gate. So I could put it on and leave the garden for a while ~ then come back.All advice appreciated.

Our Response:
Using a mosquito alarm might simply stir your neighbour into making a noise/nuisance complaint against you. Your best solution would be to seek advice from your environmental health officer.
CivilRightsMovement - 21-Dec-15 @ 12:33 PM
Dear all,I have a direct neighbour where the house is tenanted to too many young men, all eastern European, all heavy drinkers who love to party and play loud music ~ night & in the day ( the council will do nothing , the guys can do anything they like in the day too ) They also congregate outside in the garden and are so loud you can hear them indoors, in the summer the garden is a no go place.Can anyone advise me on the mosquito and if this could or something else be helpful.I have exceptionally good sound detection and although approaching 50 I know I would hear this however I wonder if I could erect a device I could put on hold remote control or 2 on/of positions one near my summer house / office and one near my side gate. So I could put it on and leave the garden for a while ~ then come back.All advice appreciated.
Azura - 20-Dec-15 @ 5:30 PM
It hurts. Is this really right? My ears are in pain
ponyprincess - 17-Nov-15 @ 4:53 PM
I have experienced the mosquito alarm in California in a public park, which was still open at the time. It was the worst feeling I have ever experienced in my ears and head. It gave me an instant migraine, and ringing in my ears for days, it made me fell unbalanced, affected equilibrium. This is pure audio torture, and should be banned. I am 35 years old, and I could not get within 60 meters of the park without it affecting me very badly. How can wego about fighting this audio torture in the US? Nobody should have to be subjected to this for just being out in puhlic.
Crow - 16-Oct-15 @ 4:45 PM
There is one of these alarms in Morrisons near to where I work in the UK. I am 30 years old and I can hear these plain as day. It is so piercing and after a few seconds begins to give me a headache.
Chris - 5-Oct-15 @ 1:28 PM
A comment from Japan! I live in Tokyo and am suffered from the mosquito alarms that are installed near Tokyo station, Tokyo Sky Tree, and Yokohama Minato Mirai. These are ringing all day and night and I can't even walk around them. I hope and believe that the alarms will in the future banned in both UK and Japan. By the way, where is the link of the campaign page to request to ban the alarms? Sorry for my non-native English.
gecko655 - 23-Jun-15 @ 11:02 AM
@Haze. There are no clear guidelines on mosquito alarms. If a church group is using one in close proximity to residential areas where young children may be playing outside during the daytime/trying to sleep at night time with a window open perhaps, then we suggest this is a good cause for complaint. Try both your local community police support officer and your environmental health department.
CivilRightsMovement - 22-Jun-15 @ 11:29 AM
Hi guys looking for some advice, behind my house is what was a local library this has now been taken over by a church group who have installed one of these alarms. I am 33 but I can hear it, several times they have left it on in the day and I have had to ring and complain and the women just says well you shouldn't be able to hear it your too old! (helpful) but has then admitted its been left on! However now with the summer months coming it means I can no longer sit out in the garden after 7pm as I can hear it and it makes me feel really ill and gives me a headache. At the weekend we had a bar b que and i had to come in at 7 because its so bad!! I am going to see them tomorrow,but as they have been so offhand about it being on in the day I don't think they are going to be very helpful, any advice on my next step or who I can complain to would be most helpful! cheers Haze
Haze - 16-Jun-15 @ 8:00 PM
I believe there has been an underhand strategy that has been used either by the local authorities or the police to use the mosquito alarm system without an order or letting me know that one is being used. Only on this day have I noticed a stationary shining light in the sky closer to where I am and straight away entertained the idea that it ought to be system that is in use. I was never consulted about and am aware that it can be tuned to accommodate age groups above 25 years of age. I have serious issues with these agencies therefore would not be insignificant to wanting to assert that the light I saw can only be the mosquito alarm. Please would you kindly assist me in how I can deal with this. I do experience like an electrical charge is being administered to my brain.
Titans - 15-Jun-15 @ 10:42 PM
The elderly in particular use a cat-deterrent in their garden. It is asmall apparatus with a speaker attached to it. It produces ahigh-pitched bleep of more than a 100 decibel. The sound is mostlyonly audible for children, youngsters and people with ears that arestill good. Many cat-deterrents use the same noise as the Mosquito.The sound causes pain in the ears, headache, and ringing in the ears.If you have any complaints consult your GP and make mention of it onsocial media!Working Mosquito: 17KHz-20KHz 90dBWorking Cat Deterrent/Animal Chaser
Mosquito - 20-Apr-15 @ 1:57 PM
@youngman. Complain to the train station company head office.This device is designed to prevent young people 'loitering'. At a railway station you have no alternative but to remain where you are.
CivilRightsMovement - 26-Feb-15 @ 12:00 PM
@DollyD I agree with previous comments - it is a noise nuisance and environmental health should help you.Persist with them. @Youngman which station?I'd happily protest to them. The Mosquito should not be allowed for a whole variety of reasons.It is not safe, and the only people who say it is safe seem to be the people selling it.
Really - 25-Feb-15 @ 12:53 AM
I'm 20 years old and a local train station just installed one of these. Every time I enter the station at night it feels like my head is being put in a vice To the point where I will double over in pain. I swear if I ever find out exactly where they installed it no amount of protection will save that device From a lawsuit.
youngman - 24-Feb-15 @ 7:04 AM
@DollyD. This device is primarily used by police in areas where potential trouble may be caused by groups of teenagers gathering together. It's unusual for it to be used in a domestic situation.Call the environmental health officer and report it as a noise nuisance.
CivilRightsMovement - 20-Feb-15 @ 10:34 AM
Our neighbour has been harassing us for the past 5 years and despite being on bail until an upcoming court case for harassing us, he has installed a Mosquito device in his back garden. I am a lady of a mature age and I can hear the high pitched whine. There are no loitering teenagers as we live in a quiet residential area and his garden is not accessible as the access is through a locked entrance. Can he do this SD my back garden is off limits to me now as I cannot stand the noise?
DollyD - 17-Feb-15 @ 11:00 PM
It's quite simple to disguise tour Mosquito as a bird box. If they're banned (which is vanishingly unlikely) there is no way I'll remove mine! It's been a Godsend.
nig - 13-Jun-14 @ 8:52 AM
how can i disguise the mosquito alarm so the children want know it's mine
nib - 27-May-14 @ 7:04 PM
how can a mosquito alarm be hidden so the children wont know what i have got
nib - 27-May-14 @ 7:01 PM
I personally think that the mosquito alarms should be uninstalled because young children like i, are in danger of hearing this monstrocity. CCTV should be used. mothers and fathers wont know why their children are in pain. Children only hear a loud ringing in their ear. So they should stop Mosquito Alarms and keep CCTV. Its more accurate for catching the culprites.
beccabumcrack - 16-May-14 @ 5:29 AM
The device has also alarmed many parents as it can be heard by very small children and babies who have acute hearing. Children and babies do vandalism at night? I did not.
MosquitoMan - 7-Aug-13 @ 11:59 AM
I have teens/early 20s outside my house regularly up until 2am, pretty sure they're drug dealers with the amount of people coming and going, giggling like little schoolgirls until early hours and the mess!Chicken cottage boxes outside my house every other morning!!!Nobody will do anything, and as much as going out there and giving a hiding to anyone who would like to line up for one probably would/ might not make it stop, it would make them the victim etc... The location is on a street with a blocked of road so they can pretty much run in any direction if police are called with no real chance of catching them.Mosquito alarm, forget that... just look at the price.Signal noise generator, pa amp and a tweeter about a fifth of the cost and i can have it as loud or as high as i feel appropriate, keeping the pitch low enough to prevent the dogs from starting. Ultimately I am doing them a favour, way I see it, by doing this as I don't have to go out there or have to call the police (who lets face it, are powerless), making this the lesser of three evils.I understand this can be intrusive in some situations but banning them?Would prevent me from doing this?No I don't think it would I would not pay any attention to this.Also as its not a mosquito noise machine I am sure it would not apply. Any opinions on this.Obviously I am not happy about this as i do have to work in the mornings.
disgruntled tennant - 22-Jul-13 @ 7:57 PM
The sound is actually quite painful. There are forms that adults can hear though, type into youtube 'Mosquito Test' and you can hear up to a certain frequency :)
SomeKid - 18-Jun-13 @ 8:34 AM
A house in Marlow High Street, Buckinghamshire, right next to the park that is popular with families with young children, has one of these Mosquito devices fitted, and it is on 24/7. Both my children (17 and 13) complain of pain whenever they are within 50metres of the house...their crime? They both wanted to watch their mother start the Marlow 5 charity run! If I walked up to someone and inflicted pain, its called assault... how is this any different?
Marlow_Visitor - 3-Jun-13 @ 10:25 AM
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