Retailers who use the Mosquito security system may be forced to remove it from their stores following a recommendation by the Council of Europe that national authorities ban the device.

The system has been branded “degrading and discriminatory” by the Council following a call from the European Youth Forum to take a stand on the issue. Over 3,500 stores in the UK currently use Mosquito, which disperses loiterers outside of shops by emitting an “irritating” low-frequency pitch that is only audible to those under 20 years of age.

An investigation by the Council found that “inflicting acoustic pain on young people and treating them as if they were unwanted birds or pests, is harmful and highly offensive”.

However Simon Morris of Mosquito manufacturer Compound Security Systems said that the Council of Europe had no power to enforce a ban on the product within the European Union. 

"The European Parliament has already voted on this matter in 2008 with the result that only 8% of MEP’s voted in favour of a ban on the device," he added. "Used correctly by authorities, the Mosquito is not indiscriminate or discriminatory and is very effective at restoring quality of life to people and businesses plagued by anti-social behaviour."

A Home Office spokesman said that it would be willing to review the current legislation on Mosquito devices if there was evidence found that the devices did cause long-term health damage.