The “Mosquito” anti-loitering system apparently still exists (shows how much I visit shopping centres), and somehow is still up for discussion in the House of Commons. I don’t believe I’ve publicly vented my spleen on this subject before, so here goes.
I’ve said before that society isn’t broken, but if you’re looking for an example of how it sometimes gets pretty close, you need look no further than the Mosquito. For the unaware, it’s a device designed to be installed in shopping centres and malls that emits a high-pitched whine supposedly only audible to children. It’s proven quite popular in recent years due to a rise in youth crime, or a rise in middle-class fears of kids in hoodies – one of the two.
Let me just summarise that for effect: We have created technology specifically to drive away our own children.
And it’s hardly some device that seeks out kids with ill intentions – its irritating whine is audible to anyone with good hearing. My son is two years old and has caused no public nuisance bar occasional incontinence. He can hear your sodding Mosquito. I am 25 years old, with a job and a family and a mortgage and an interest in politics. I am everything you want the ‘hoodies’ to become, and I can hear your sodding mosquito.
You’re trying to scare off our children, those same people that in twenty years time will be running your country and paying for your pension. And you don’t even have enough respect to treat them like human beings capable of communication – you drive them out of public spaces with noisemakers like you drive cats off of your lawn.
Sure, youth crime might be on the rise – I don’t have the figures, so maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. And I don’t claim to have the solution to that. But whatever that solution is, it does not involve the Mosquito.
Shopping centres are not your garden, kids are not animals, and hanging around in a public area is not the same as shitting on your lawn.
Aaand we’re done.