Concerted Action Against The Mosquito Device By MEP, Young Scots For Independence and Glasgow City Council

13 May 2008
Euro MP Alyn Smith has pledged his support to European moves to ban the ‘mosquito' device in the European Union.

A written declaration has been put forward by MEPs which Mr Smith will add his name to when in Strasbourg next week. The declaration calls for the European Commission to promote a ban on the marketing and use of the device in the EU. The declaration comes at the same time as a motion is put to Glasgow City Council (Thursday 15 May) calling for a ban on the device within the city, and in the wake of the successful motion backed by the Young Scots for Independence (YSI) which was passed at the SNP conference in April.

The devices work by emitting a loud high-frequency noise, audible only to those under the age of around 25, and have been used to disperse groups of youths. However, their use is particularly controversial as they affect all young people indiscriminately.

Mr Smith said:

"I am extremely pleased that the European Parliament is taking a position against the mosquito device but I must express my disappointment that it has been necessary for the Parliament to take a stand on this at all. It is quite bizarre that we can countenance a scheme that so indiscriminately targets our young people and this should have been recognised some time ago.

"The YSI has been working hard to raise awareness of the use of the device and has been campaigning to see a total ban on its use in Scotland. I hope that the European Parliament can supplement the good work that has already taken place and implement a total EU-wide ban on this odious device."

The National Convener of the YSI and Glasgow City Councillor for Calton ward, Alison Thewliss, said:

"I am delighted that the European Parliament has made moves to put in place a ban on the mosquito device. While anti-social behaviour from youths is a real concern in some areas, to use such an indiscriminate approach to tackle this problem really is an example of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

"A far more serious problem is the health implications. Imagine two mothers standing outside a shop having a blether, with their babies in prams. They would have absolutely no idea that their babies' hearing is being damaged by a nearby mosquito device. The same goes for anyone who happens to live near a mosquito device - their young children, and their pets, would obviously be distressed by the noise, but not able to tell them what's wrong.

"Glasgow City Council and the YSI look forward to a total ban on the use of this device and to discussions on more productive ways of dealing with anti-social youths."