Alternattiva Demokratika Zaghzagh (ADZ-Green Youth) has expressed dismay at the heavy-handed manner in which the Tarxien Local Council is dealing with alleged pubic disturbances in the locality.
ADZ said that “the Council has recently been reported utilizing a ‘Mosquito’ in Ovindoli Garden, a device which emits a high-pitched sound, heard only by younger people, with the intention of driving youths away from the area.”
Alternattiva Demokratika Zaghzagh Chairperson Reuben Zammit said, “no amount of disturbance can justify the use of this device, reminiscent of ‘Big Brotherism,’ in a democratic society. In the first instance, local councils have no business deploying anti-personnel weapons against people.
“Public disturbances are to be dealt with by licensed law enforcement officers, who are trained in community policing methods to restore the peace and engage in dialogue with the local community. Additionally, the device targets all youths in the area universally regardless of individual behaviour.
“Secondly, the idea of shooing young people off with an electronic device at will is highly insulting. It is contradictory for those in power to wax rhetoric on the need to empower our youth, and the next moment to allow over-zealous if well-meaning vigilantes to treat youths like unwanted pests.
“It is true that Local Councils feel powerless to act in certain circumstances and the local police hardly ever cooperate in things they consider beneath their notice. Measures should be taken however to provide young people with alternative social activities instead. Such incidents might even indicate the need for more inclusive Youth Groups in certain localities,” he concluded.
Alternattiva Demokratika Zaghzagh has therefore called on the Tarxien Local Council “to immediately deactivate the device and to issue a public apology for its discriminatory and irresponsible actions.” It has also called on the central government to take corrective measures as necessary should the situation not be remedied in the coming days.