A LOCAL campaigner is hoping a meeting this Friday (August 15) will result in a controversial anti-teen alarm being removed from outside Milford Haven Library.
Gareth Bromhall, from Milford Haven, is meeting with building owners the Port of Milford Haven at the site, to discuss the future of the ‘Mosquito’ alarm currently in place there.
The alarm was installed by the Port in 2012, following ‘thousands of pounds worth of damage to its property’ and complaints by tenants and members of the public about anti-social behaviour.
But Gareth, 21, says the device, which can only be heard by under-25s, discriminates against young people, and may cause distress to people with anxiety or depression, autism and some disabilities.
He is calling on the Port to find a “less invasive” method of policing the area, such as extra lighting or more CCTV.
Around 200 people have signed a petition calling on the Port to take down the device, which human rights group Liberty has dubbed a ‘sonic weapon against children’.
And Gareth is calling on anyone who backs the campaign to demonstrate outside the Library at 1.30pm this Friday.
“It’s not going to be a rowdy protest, we just want local people to show support,” he said.
A spokesman for the Port has defended the installation of the device, saying: “Following discussions with Pembrokeshire County Council and Dyfed-Powys Police a mosquito device was chosen to due to its success in other areas across the UK in deterring groups of youths from congregating.”
She added: “We have been reviewing the information provided by Gareth alongside other information available to us on how to manage access to such locations and look forward to further discussions with Gareth about his ideas at our next scheduled meeting.”
Among those voicing concerns over the device is Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, who said the device highlighted "the general climate of intolerance towards children and young people and have no place in our society”.
County council Labour group leader Paul Miller has also weighed in, calling the alarm an “awful idea”, adding that they do not deal with the causes of anti-social behaviour.
“If there are issues down there, there has to be another solution, and that’s for the Port and others to come up with,” he said.