Skip to main content

Sonic Teenager Deterrent

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether his Department has ever recommended the use of the sonic teenager deterrent to (a) police forces and (b) local authorities as a method of controlling the assembly of young people; (94979)

(2) what guidance his Department has produced for (a) police forces and (b) local authorities on the use of the sonic teenager deterrent;

(3) how many (a) police forces and (b) local authorities use the sonic teenager deterrent as a method of controlling the assembly of young people in certain areas;

(4) what assessment he has made of the potential implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 for the use of the Sonic Teenager Deterrent by police forces and local authorities.

[holding answers 18 and 19 October 2006]: We encourage local agencies to consider the full range of innovations, schemes and practices intended to reduce crime, the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour. It is for local agencies like the police and local authorities to decide on the most appropriate interventions to tackle antisocial behaviour based on their knowledge of what works best locally.

We do encourage agencies to adopt a tiered approach with a blend of measures to provide a proportionate response. The Home Office does not promote or recommend any particular commercial product or venture above this.

The Home Office has not produced guidance for police and local authorities on the use of the sonic teenager deterrent.

The use of any device like the sonic teenager deterrent which claims to disperse groups of young people should be treated with caution and if used should form part of an overall strategy to tackle the drivers of that antisocial behaviour and to encourage more constructive behaviour.