Stopping Youth Loitering, Violence with 'Beeps'

Washington, D.C., is implementing a sound device in a popular shopping district to prevent loitering and violence among youth.
by | September 16, 2010 AT 6:00 PM
"No Loitering" painted on a brick wall
Jason Hickey/Flickr CC

In early August, over 50 youths were involved in a brawl that started at a D.C. shopping district, progressed to a transit station and resulted in the hospitalization of multiple people. The Washington Post reports that in an effort to prevent the reoccurrence of such events and reduce youth loitering, the Gallery Place district is implementing a youth-deterring sound device. Washington, D.C., officials and business owners of the retail and entertainment area agreed to mount a device near the local Metro station’s entrance that emits a beeping sound at a frequency annoying to the ears of 13- to 25-year-olds. The devices have been used at places that are often hotspots for late-night vandals and loiterers, such as schools and playgrounds. There has been mixed feedback, as some claim the sound can easily repel the wrong audience – shoppers and commuters.

Andy Kim
Andy Kim | Former Staff Writer