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‘Cruel’ acne lights are being used to deter teen loitering in public


TextDominic Cadogan

The humiliating tactic – used alongside sonic sirens – highlights blemishes and aims to clear the streets of groups of young people

In an article published today on the Telegraph, it has been revealed that businesses and local councils are using pink lights as a deterrent of teens in public, by highlighting their blemishes. 

Branded “cruel and demeaning” by children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, she called for a ban on the humiliating acne-shaming tactic. “(They) play on the worst adolescent fears and insecurities about image and looks,” she says. In addition to the pink lights, sonic sirens that can only be heard by teenagers are also being used as a deterrent for loitering in groups.

According to Longfield, there is currently no regulation of these tactics, meaning they can be used by local councils and businesses without repercussions.

Children’s charity Barnados says: “Young people described feeling they had no spaces to meet and that they felt unwelcome to hang out together in public spaces, such as parks.”

For those suffering with acne, head here to read more on the topic as part of our ‘Professionals’ series. 

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