Anti-teen mosquito device is slammed

Hamilton station web

The contraption, which emits a high frequency noise, has been fitted after complaints of youth disorder

2nd August 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Young people are "being treated as a nuisance" after a controversial anti-loitering device was installed at a station.

Continued complaints of anti-social behaviour at Hamilton Central has led to a mosquito device being fitted by ScotRail.

The contraption emits a high-pitched sound that is usually only audible to those aged under 25.

ScotRail has said that the use of the device will be minimal, however Scottish Youth Parliament chair Amy Lee Fraioli said that she found the noise unbearable while travelling through Hamilton last week.

“The high pitched noise could be heard on approach to the station and I immediately had my suspicions as to its source,” she said.

“As I waited on my train, due in 15 minutes by this point, the noise became increasingly more frustrating as it was high-pitched and made for extremely uncomfortable listening. Ten minutes later, I was seriously considering leaving the station – and missing my train - as the noise had become unbearable to sit through, and there was no area of the platform where it could be avoided.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament has been calling for the devices to be banned for the past seven years, and Fraioli said that the body will continue to fight against use of the devices.

She added: “As a regular ScotRail customer and a frequent visitor to Hamilton Central Station, I was incredibly disappointed that I had been subjected to this horrendous treatment.

“This device makes young people feel as if their presence is regarded as nothing more than a nuisance, when in actual fact many use this station to access school, work or university.”

The device was fitted after complaints of teen gangs hanging round the station, with union the RMT stating that workers were in fear of violence.

A ScotRail Alliance spokesperson said: “The safety of our staff and customers is always our number one priority. We are committed to working with all our partners to make the station as safe as it can be.

“As part of this multi-agency approach we have introduced a suite of measures to tackle anti-social behaviour and since these have been put in place there has been a significant reduction in incidents in and around the station.”

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4th August 2017 by Jan Cosgrove

Scots Rail makes claims about making the station safe? What is 'safe' about a device that causes distress to not only teens but also babies, toddlers and younger children? If Scots Rail had complaints about old people being a nuisance, would they turn water hoses on them to dissuade them? Indeed, is this indiscriminate assault on young people lawful? This is lazy policing, electronic vigilantism, and highly irresponsible. Could this device, for example, cause such distress as to make a child miss a train taking him to school or college. The Children's Commissioners for all 4 nations of the UK have roundly condemned this odious device, and its makers blithely ignore the issue of children's rights and lie by commission and omission. Fact, not all teens have the same hearing range, some will not hear it at all. Conversely, there are older people above 25 who will hear it and be distressed. That is LIE Number 1, there is no fixed age limit above which it cannot be heard. LIE Number 2 - there is no LOWER age limit, indeed the younger the child the more likely it is to hear it and probably more intensely.This is the 'law of convenience', its use is intentionally to distress and to discriminate against all young people, hence its irresponsible and arrogant makers' claim that it is anti-teen. Someone needs to take Scot Rail to court or to make a claim to the local authority of its anti-social behaviour. That is what this is.