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: 31 Jul 2020 | 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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If parents actually thought to control their squealing offspring these wouldn't be necessary, but many parents, believing their children to be blameless, don't bother. I live in a very noisy suburb & from 7am until past midnight, screaming kids gather in the carpark & outside my garden - never once have I heard a parent telling them to take the noise down a bit, not once, probably glad they aren't screaming in their ears, so I bought one & it's brilliant. I don't have it on all the time just when the noise gets really extreme & they do move away from the area. I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty as I've had this ongoing aural assault for over 5 years.I have misophonia so loud and high pitched noises practically induce a panic attack....I have tried talking to the parents, very politely & get the standard nonchalant "kids will be kids" so this is a last resort?......
LilyR - 31-Jul-20 @ 1:12 PM
If parents actually thought to control their squealing offspring these wouldn't be necessary, but many parents, believing their children to be blameless, don't bother. I live in a very noisy suburb & from 7am until past midnight, screaming kids gather in the carpark & outside my garden - never once have I heard a parent telling them to take the noise down a bit, not once, probably glad they aren't screaming in their ears, so I bought one & it's brilliant. I don't have it on all the time just when the noise gets really extreme & they do move away from the area. Don't feel in the slightest bit guilty as I've had this ongoing aural assault for over 5 years, so?. I have misophonia & loud high pitched noises practically induce a panic attack....I have tried talking to the parents &
LilyR - 31-Jul-20 @ 1:08 PM
What about the Human Rights of those that have to put up with the noise all day? A nursery with 79 children has opened up next door to my parents, they have just been given permission to use the garden (outdoor amenity in planning application) all day. Imagine those children next door to you screaming & shouting. The staff never tell them to be quiet. This is a residential rd with no businesses on it. Houses valued in mid 6 figures. Staff arriving at 7am - 7pm with parent’s cars all day long! Why should the neighbours have to put up with that? The local planning dept turning it down but on appeal a town 150 miles away approved it. Tell me my parents don’t have HR to enjoy their garden during the day. Can’t wait for Kama
Pippinpuss - 30-Jul-20 @ 6:22 PM
I recently moved to a lovely area to start fresh. I am 28 years old and have fibromyalgia and hypersensitivity. The first I started hearing it was at night a horrible high pitched beeping. I could not stay in my garden in the evenings at all it was unbareable! Now i have started hearing it in my bedroom at night and in the mornings. It causes me a great deal of pain. My ears feel like there bleeding and my jaw hurts near on constantly from it, then it gives me headaches. Somehow im meant to deal with this pain on top of all the other widespread pain i have to deal with and mother at the same time. I have a horrible feeling its on the train tracks behind my house. I am getting a letter from my doctor to see if i can take this further as this is no way for anyone to live daily. I am an adult, a mother with health problems and this is making daily life even more exhausting and painful.
Jazz92 - 22-Jun-20 @ 9:31 AM
How will I explain to my old mum that I don’t want to stay at the shop because of teenagers and the mosquito device I can’t believe you are doing this to babies and I can’t explain it to my mum it is not giving me my human rights
Hiya - 14-May-20 @ 2:15 PM
It's constantly going off throughout the day and evening, I have been reduced to migraines and tears this not only affect my home living but as am working from home is causing a significant issue. It hurts my ears/head every time it goes off which recorded at lunchtime today was every 15 seconds for at least 5 seconds. I believe it to be motioned censored, so can go off for longer times, or short bursts or a good 10 minutes but very sensitively as the wind was setting it off at the weekend just gone! Unless it was just a leaf being blown in front of it. Previously had tinnitus onset from only this too!! I was in bed suffering from migraines for 3 days out of my 4 day weekend! I cannot sit in my own garden! I have to make my dinner quick as I can hear it in my kitchen at the back of the house, through closed doors and windows! I just don't know what to do! Ordinarily, I would knock on each door and ask for the utmost minimum it to only be on late at night or if its a possibility to be put on a different/higher frequency..Obviously, due to the current climate, I am housebound AND with this distressing and uncomfortable pain!!! In this already trying time, I just cannot stand it! Please, please help and guide me through this! I am desperate to resolve it. Please point me in the direction of where I can back up any person/organisation proceeding with a complete ban on this sonic device.
LozBoz - 16-Apr-20 @ 6:24 PM
It's constantly going off throughout the day and evening, I have been reduced to migraines and tears this not only affect my home living but as am working from home is causing a significant issue. It hurts my ears/head every time it goes off which recorded at lunchtime today was every 15 seconds for at least 5 seconds. I believe it to be motioned censored, so can go off for longer times, or short bursts or a good 10 minutes but very sensitively as the wind was setting it off at the weekend just gone! Unless it was just a leaf being blown in front of it. Previously had tinnitus onset from only this too!! I was in bed suffering from migraines for 3 days out of my 4 day weekend! I cannot sit in my own garden! I have to make my dinner quick as I can hear it in my kitchen at the back of the house, through closed doors and windows! I just don't know what to do! Ordinarily, I would knock on each door and ask for the utmost minimum it to only be on late at night or if its a possibility to be put on a different/higher frequency..Obviously, due to the current climate, I am housebound AND with this distressing and uncomfortable pain!!! In this already trying time, I just cannot stand it! Please, please help and guide me through this! I am desperate to resolve it. Please point me in the direction of where I can back up any person/organisation proceeding with a complete ban on this sonic device.
LozBoz - 16-Apr-20 @ 6:24 PM
We are having ongoing problems with one of these devices. Our neighbours son purchased an anti loitering device and installed it outside of his bedroom window. He turns it on with great delight when our children go outside to play. Our eldest is 15 and it causes her alot of pain. I wouldn't mind so much if the children were being a nuisance or outside until very late at night but they are always inside by 8.30pm and I am constantly installing respect for others not just when they are in the garden. It was 1st turned on 3 days ago at 7pm. Yesterday at 17.20 until late and today he turned it on at 12.30pm and left it on until 17.00. Its absolute torture for the children and after being told by the police that they can't do anything I'm at a loss. They ended up playing outside with ear defenders on which weren't very effective. The parents praised their son (aged 18) for "getting rid of everyone" which included other neigh ours children. Can anyone recommend any help?
Becks - 15-Apr-20 @ 5:55 PM
Had one fitted outside my convenience store works great
Jeff - 5-Apr-20 @ 7:33 AM
I purchased one years ago when l owned a convenience store , brilliant magic marvellous worked a treat kept all the juveniles away
Jeff - 5-Apr-20 @ 7:31 AM
I have an allotment where kids keep breaking in 8 times this year, and just recently burnt down a shed. Where are our rights to protect our property?
Dhax - 22-Sep-19 @ 1:44 PM
Where do I sign the 'online support form that can be completed by anyone who has seen or been affected by these devices.' ? There is one installed at a car park near where I live and my son has not been able to sleep for months, he is very distressed. The only people likely to loiter in that car park are adults - very discriminatory and completely wrong.
Shelley - 11-Aug-19 @ 7:48 AM
We have gangs of youths at the back of our house they throw stones, they hit an 85 year old with a bottle on the head. Nobody can go in their garden as they are frightened. They shout abusive language to usPolice can't seem to do anything. What about our civil rights?
RossB - 7-Jul-19 @ 5:41 PM
As per previous comment, if parents would actually explain consideration to their kids these devices wouldn't be necessary in a residential area....Sadly they won't & councils are reluctant to intervene citing it as out of their jurisdiction. We hear a lot about kids with disabilities, adults have these too & for some people the noise of shreiking, screaming children is unbearable & creates all sorts of health issues including stress, depression & long term health problems. If consideration were the norm & people were actually accorded their statutory right to quiet enjoyment of their home we wouldn't need these devices. Sadly entitled parents are producing entitled children who don't even understand that it's a good thing to consider their neighbours so we are where we are?..... BTW they have not been criminalised & for those who believe they should be, I would suggest they look at local noise levels and they might then understand why residents have had to resort to such extreme measures?
LilyR - 11-Jun-19 @ 12:07 PM
these things are AWFUL. a house near mine has one and just walking near it is incredibly painful. my mom can't hear it, so she thought i was crazy when i mentioned how painful the sound was. do you really want to put neighbors that are just walking past in unbearable pain? the fact that adults talk about how teenagers isolate ourselves by being on our phones as if that makes us evil, but then go to lengths this extreme to ward people off is a little disturbing to me. adults can argue in favor of this all they want, but they should remember that they'll never know exactly how horrific the device for which they fight is because they can never and will never hear it themselves.
teenager who is just - 21-Jul-17 @ 2:41 AM
I live next door to 2screaming children a hot tub 8 ins from my back foot. Trampoline 8 ins from my fencefootballs bump bump bump damage to my property 30ft repairs to my fence broken plants hit in the face with balls an aggressive dog who barks and growls on the trampoline paws on the fence. Hot tub heating 24/7 load phone calls for hrs enough is enough
Mry - 16-Jul-17 @ 8:12 PM
So the poor kids that have to put up with this high pitched noise are having their human rights violated but the por people who are driven to pay hundreds of pounds just to get some peace from constant screaming aren't? Maybe if the parents of these poor kids taught them that screaming isn't acceptable there would be no issues.My kids grew up knowing this but the road I live on has a mass of kids who scream all day long and the parents do nothing.One Gent thathe lived here was an airline pI lot andone tried to educate people that he often needed to sleep during the day and asked the parents if they could stop the kids from screaming.What was the response? He was booed off the street and had to move away to get some peace.We also have shift workers such as aviation engineers and firemen who are having the same problem .So, what are you doing for their civil rights to be able to sleep? I can see the hend lines now. Aviation engineer makes mistake due to tiredness causing hundreds of deaths.It's got to work both ways so please take this into consideration before victimised peoplewho are so desperate that they turn to these things for some forms of peace.
Hmmmpth - 20-Jun-17 @ 6:41 AM
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
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