Officials in Scunthorpe are planning to discourage groups of youths from loitering outside shops - by installing fluorescent pink lights that highlight acne.

North Lincs County Council hopes the lights, commonly used by beauticians and skin specialists, will humiliate spotty teenagers into moving on - helping to cut crime and antisocial behaviour.

The system has been ­trialled by a retailer in Guildford who said it had noticeably cut the number of gangs hanging around.

"If it's going to detract kids from hanging around I would definitely consider using it," said Richard Baldwin, manager of Asda's Scunthorpe branch.

Similar deterrent measures have included the use of Mosquito, a machine that encourages youths to move on with a piercing whine only audible to the under-20s, which has been trialled by Spar retailers.

And the Co-operative Group said playing classical music outside stores had been hugely successful in detracting youths.