Acne Lights Discourage Loitering

Filed under: In The News

pink lightsThe presence of teens hanging out in large groups makes many people uncomfortable. If they are stationed in front of a store, they can discourage actual paying customers from shopping there. Rather than push through a crowd of rowdy kids, many of us will simply find another place to shop that isn't playing host to a bunch of bored teenagers. Even if they are far away from a shopping area, kids in groups like this are often up to no good and adults go to great lengths to encourage them to move along.

In London, some shopkeepers use a device called the Mosquito that emits an annoying sonic whine that only young people can hear. A mall in New Zealand plays Barry Manilow music to encourage loitering teens to disperse. And now we have a British town using bad lighting to embarrass the kids away.

The idea is so simple it is brilliant. In order to discourage kids from hanging around under a local bridge, residents of the town of Mansfield installed pink fluorescent lights that highlight acne and other blemishes on the skin. The thinking is that while some kids might be able to suck it up and deal with annoying sounds, most won't tolerate being made to look ugly in public.

Not only does the lighting make skin look bad, it is assumed that tough guys who hang out under bridges wouldn't want to be seen bathed in pink. Whatever the reason, it is working. "We used to have quite a problem with large groups of young people hanging around in the underpasses drinking, which felt quite intimidating, but the pink lights have really made a difference," says resident Marianne Down.

The grownups may have won this round, but local councilor David Brown suspects the war is not over. "It will be interesting to see how effective this is. It's effectively embarrassing them into moving on but they could just see it as a big joke and turn up with balaclavas."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.