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Ladysmith politicians consider using 'Mosquito' device to keep away youngsters

Electronic device could help stop teen vandals at beach

Ladysmith politicians consider using 'Mosquito' device to keep away youngsters

By Dustin Walker, Daily News April 26, 2011

Ladysmith may install a device at Transfer Beach that emits a high-pitched sound that only young people can hear as part a plan to curb vandalism in the park.

The "Mosquito" sends out an irritating whine through a small speaker that can generally only be heard by those between the ages of 13 and 25.

The Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and two Nanaimo schools already use the device to deter late-night vandals.

However, one Ladysmith councillor is worried that using this technology could send a negative message to young people.

Steve Arnett, who is also the executive director of Nanaimo Youth Services Association, pointed out that driving all young people away from the park at night may be a step too far.

"I'm always concerned about the message we give to young people, whether it's intentional or not," he said. "The majority of young people are great."

However, Arnett thinks steps should be taken to tackle the vandalism issue. For example, about a year ago, stone fireplaces at the picnic shelter were demolished and haven't been replaced for fear it will happen again.

Coun. Bruce Whittington also thinks council needs more information on the Mosquito before making a decision. He wonders whether the $4,000 for the device should be spent on hiring security instead.

He also questions whether the Mosquito will become another victim of vandalism.

"When you see some of the vandalism that has occurred at Transfer Beach...what's going to stop vandals from just ripping this thing apart?"

The Nanaimo Aquatic Centre is the only City of Nanaimo facility that uses the Mosquito. Since installing the device in 2008, staff have noticed a major decrease in the amount of late-night vandalism, said Mark Demecha, a spokesman for the centre.

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district installed the Mosquito at Rock City and Uplands elementary schools last year as part of a pilot project. Both schools had been rocked by repeated vandalism.

School district spokeswoman Donna Reimer said the device has made a noticeable difference.

"We're feeling quite positive about it," she said.

Students are never exposed to the Mosquito because it's used only at night.

Trustees have said that if the devices prove successful they may install them at other schools.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

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Testimonials

  • SHAUN MORRIS, Security Manager Northern Property, Yellowknife, NT

    The Mosquito works great for us, Our problem with panhandlers & homeless people hanging out has dramatically improved since we installed the mosquito.

    We left it on full time during business hours for the first few weeks and after that we were able to turn it off and just use it periodically as needed.

  • Carmen Ramirez, Park Avenue Enterprises LLC, New York, NY

    "It was amazing! Immediately the Mosquito effectively cleared out the loitering teens from the troubled area without hassle or confrontation."

  • Wade Rohloff, Graphic Safety, Hobbs, NM

    "The mosquito worked perfectly last night. I got it hooked up just in time for some kids to show up and make a lot of noise. After I turned it on they began complaining and left shortly thereafter. This thing is amazing."

  • Sarah Ward, PC 1623

    "Regarding the Mosquito apparatus that we have recently been using in our area, this is just a note to say that we have been extremely pleased with it.

    We have also had a positive reaction regarding its use from members of the public. In short, it has been an all-round success."

  • Lincolnshire Police

    "It is still presently sited at an old folks complex and is giving them a long awaited respite from ASB."

    Colin Hill PC 879
    Lincolnshire Police
    ASB Officer - South Holland District Council

  • David Meade, Millennium Place Primary Condominium, Boston, MA

    "The Mosquito has been effective. It has been implemented with other low echelon security measures and the results have been absolutely amazing. If the comparison prior to the mosquito install is made to present, we have seen a 95% to 98% decrease in activity and incidents in the stairwell."

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