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‘Mosquito’ alarm at Parliament Hill Lido to target young ears

City of London says residents have raised issue of people loitering near the pool

24 April, 2020 — By Richard Osley

The Mosquito’s alarm can’t be heard by older passers-by

AN alarm system which makes a high-pitched noise that only teenagers and young people can hear is planned for the Parliament Hill Lido in a bid to disperse loitering outside.

The device, known as The Mosquito, has been the subject of controversy across the world with human rights organisations questioning the fairness of targeting a group by age. The system works on the basis that as human gets older their hearing powers decrease and do not make out the annoying buzz. Users have said The Mosquito has helped stopped groups of young people gathering in shopping precincts and outside convenience stores.

The Lido is currently closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, but security measures were being drawn up for the summer months before the doors were closed.

The City of London, which manages the outdoor pool, said it wanted to install new fencing for the summer months to stop people climbing in.

The cafe at the Lido was burgled three times, a planning document said, adding that there had been “numerous attempts made to climb into the facility” on hot days last year. The pool regularly reaches capacity in warm weather and, on occasions, police have been called to disputes in the queue.

Human rights group Liberty was among the organisations which have in the past criticised the device’s installation, describing it as “a sonic weapon directed against children and young people”.

Its promotional material tells buyers they can “take back control without confrontation” and says it is “a safe means of effective crowd control.” At the Lido, the plan is to turn on The Mosquito during the hours of darkness.

A City spokesperson said: “Local residents have informed the City of London Corporation of increasingly frequent loitering and anti-social behaviour by individuals around the Parliament Hill Fields Lido building after dark. “In addition to the noise nuisance caused to local residents, the City Corporation is concerned that vandalism could occur to this Grade II-listed building. As such, it is proposed to install a Mosquito device to deter loitering. The effectiveness of this deterrent will be kept under review.”

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