The Co-operative Group is ditching the youth deterrent device Mosquito... in favour of Beethoven and Bach.

Mosquito, which encourages youths to move on with a high-pitched sound only audible to the under-25s, was installed at former United Co-op stores in the north west and Yorkshire but will be replaced with classical music systems following criticism of the device.

"Mosquito devices were installed at some former United Co-op food stores but none have been installed since July 2007 when United Co-op became part of the Co-op Group, which uses classical music to deter groups of youths from gathering at stores," a Co-op Group spokeswoman said.

In February this year, the Children's Commissioner launched a campaign against Mosquito claiming that it indiscriminately targeted young people.

"As part of the merger integration process, the Mosquito system was under review and was recommended for removal prior to concerns being expressed by the Children's Commissioner," the spokeswoman added.

The society started playing classical music through loudspeakers two years ago in an effort to deter loitering youngsters. The initiative, which includes works by composers Bach, Bellini, Liszt, Mozart, Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi, has proved hugely successful, according to the Co-op Group.

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