Mosquito to bite against crime

PUBLISHED: 05:05 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 May 2010

A NEW anti-youth gadget which emits a noise that can only be heard by young people and a police helicopter spotlight are the two latest weapons being used in a crackdown on troublemakers in Weston and Worle

A NEW anti-youth gadget which emits a noise that can only be heard by young people and a police helicopter spotlight are the two latest weapons being used in a crackdown on troublemakers in Weston and Worle.Last week, the Weston Mercury exposed simmering summer youth problems in hotspots across the resort.This week, we can reveal that a hi-tech gadget, called the Mosquito, will be used for the first time in North Somerset when it is installed in Worle.The new gizmo, to be set up outside Hayers in the Mead Vale Shopping Precinct, fires a high pitched sound for up to 20 metres in a 60¡ arc.It can only be heard by people aged under 25, who are sensitive to the frequency of the noise emitted, and is aimed to break up gangs and move them on.North Somerset Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (NSCDRP) has bought the kit. If found to be useful, it will recommend householders and businesses get their own Mosquitoes, which cost about £600.Police in Weston are also using a helicopter to shine a bright light on youngsters drinking in parks to stop them gathering. The helicopter's halogen spotlight beam temporarily blinds people caught in its path.Sgt Gareth Starr said: "It helps us find youths who hide when we patrol and also finds where they are gathering so we can respond to it. The spotlight will be used to move them on as they don't like the light shining in their faces."Police arrested six people and seized alcohol in Clarence Park, Grove Park and the town centre last weekend after several Weston beat officers joined forces and patrolled in an 'antisocial' van.Children as young as 13 were caught drinking and 17 cans of lager, four bottles of alcopops and a large bottle of vodka were seized on Friday night.Arrests were made for possession of a knife, carrying cannabis and drunk and disorderly behaviour.* INTIMIDATING gangs of youngsters will now be moved on from the Italian Gardens and adjacent Town Square by.Officers have got stronger powers to deal with troublemakers in the area now it has become a 'dispersal zone'.Offenders will be asked to leave for 24 hours and removed if they refuse. Persistent troublemakers could be fined up to £3,000 or face three months in jail. The order will last until October, but could be shortened or extended.There are also plans to 'design out' problems by doing things like installing bumpy pavement and adding ends to benches to stop skateboarders using them.Police antisocial behaviour officer Terry Crees said: "If groups gather there with the purpose of intimidating or causing a disturbance, they, and anyone who mixes with them, will be asked to move on."If people are there and are behaving themselves, that's fine.

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