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Police will use sonic deterrent on youths

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 30, 2011

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WADEBRIDGE police say that they will be redeploying sonic weaponry to stop youths causing problems in the town.

Officers say they have received a number of reports of teenagers hanging around the Southern Way area, particularly in the vicinity of the John Betjeman Centre, causing antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.

PC Helen Lentern said: "We've had reports that teenagers have been shouting, swearing, throwing eggs and jumping on the roof of the bus stop.

"This type of behaviour is unacceptable and the police will be making regular patrols of the area and taking positive action where necessary.

"Many of the nearby elderly residents are intimidated by this. We're asking parents to make sure they know where their children are and ensure it's not them causing these problems."

In a bid to combat problems caused by youths in the same area in 2007 two "Mosquito" devices were fitted, one outside the John Betjeman Centre and another at the nearby bus stop and shelter.

The device, which looks like a loudspeaker in a wire cage, releases a high-pitched noise which its manufacturer says is inaudible to the majority of people over 25 but can be heard by teenagers.

The sound takes about eight to ten seconds to be detected by the human ear, it says, so passers-by are not affected.

The Mosquito is intended to deter youths from remaining in the area, and police say the two devices fitted in 2007 were effective but have now ceased to operate.

At a Wadebridge Town Council meeting PCSO Phil Chanter said: "We're trying to get the Mosquitoes replaced or repaired. Unfortunately the youth tend to congregate in the shelter to try and keep dry, but are causing a nuisance.

"We tend to move on one crowd and then a few months later the next generation starts, but with these devices it should annoy them so much that they stay away."

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