Monday, February 11, 2008

Sonic Deterrent infringes on your human rights

Claims made by Al Aynsley-Green the government Children's rights representative last week have called for the ban of the controversial 'Mosquito' sonic deterrent that is placed outside shopping centres and other public spaces to stop gangs of neds hanging out and being a general nuisance to law abiding citizens who want to shop in peace.

I've talked about it in an earlier blog post here -
Sonic Chav Deterrent on Two Open Ears
MosquitoByteam website

The deterrent works by emitting high frequency pulses or tones that are only picked up by young people who have more sensitive hearing than adults (especially in the higher frequency ranges). The tones help to stop the children loitering for too long..

I guess it's the subliminal effect that Aynsley-Green doesn't like, even though I think her 'infringes on human rights' argument is ludicrous. her main point focuses on how these alarms may effect young children and babies who have done nothing wrong. I would say that she should look at the bigger picture and tackle the larger issues - Noise Pollution and unsociable behaviour in our cities.

The sonic deterrent isn't the only source of noise that may have an adverse effect on infants - any machine that creates noise will do - cars, coffee machine, pneumatic drills, TV, etc etc! For example, imagine raising a baby if you live underneath a flight path or on a busy street with bars or clubs creating noise after 10pm- surely the terrible effect this could have on a babies ability to get a good nights rest is a much more severe issue than the 5 seconds or so they might experience the Mosquito alarm as they go in and out of a shop?

Aynsley-Green should try and tackle the problem that these alarms are helping to combat - unsocialable behaviour by gangs outside public places. Surely this in itself is a bigger infringement on everyone's basic human rights?


Simon J said...

I think you're right to an extent, that there are larger issues to be dealt with. But I really dislike these machines. I think anything that criminalises and punishes in a generalised way (such as age, gender, race or sexuality) is wrong.

Besides, clogging up their ears with a high-pitched whine doesn't leave much room for more the world's more pleasant sounds!

Two Open Ears said...

fair point simon, but we are are punished to a certain extent by the demographic we come from (car insurance for men under 25 much higher than anyone else is the first example that springs to mind).
It is human nature to generalise, categorise and group to make sense of the world!
But i would agree that we should be very very careful in introducing noise machines objects in public spaces, taking more time to inspect their lasting impact.. as there is never enough consideration put into the effect of sound to those who experience it.

Ellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellie said...

This is so hypocritical. Generally people over the age of 45 use these machines to prevent kids from "causing trouble" but in prior years an opposite version of the mosquito came out and all the old hags and geriatric dick wads came out screaming this was unfair and cruel. They'd throw words like inhumane and unjust out their asses. BUT-- Now that it's for younger kids it's all gravy. I can't wait till these over the hump bastards start to make us wear gold stars on our arms before they send us to gas chambers.

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