The bishop, mosquito and play

27 Feb 2008 by Karl Hallam

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the high-pitched electronic device, 'Mosquito', designed to disperse groups of youngsters is "a sad example of an indiscriminate and knee-jerk response to a perceived problem, which only deals at best with symptoms, not causes".

Cadence's consultation work on play and open space strategies would suggest he has a point, particularly when the Guardian coverage says 'Far from intending to "menace" others, youngsters congregate and hang around together in order "to feel secure", Williams writes in the Guardian today. They fear not only aggressive gangs but "unfriendly adults", he says, arguing that adult discouragement of games in public places intensifies the problem'.

Work to improve public spaces, where local people are involved, can help breakdown these barriers, but the relationship between actual and perceived anti-social behaviour is difficult. We have found this in our work for Club for Young People on youth provision.


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