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NZ unleashes sonic Manilow weapon

Oh Barry, you came and you dispersed my mallrats

New Zealand has followed the lead of an Oz local council and intends to unleash the ultimate deterrent against Christchurch "mallrats" - the Barry Manilow sonic weapon.

The city intends to pipe the lift-music crooner through the central mall district, letting Mandy and Can't Smile Without You do what law enforcement officials have so far failed to achieve: purge the streets of unruly teens who regularly graffiti walls, get high on booze and drugs and abuse innocent passers-by.

Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale told Associated Press: "The intention is to change the environment in a positive way... so nobody feels threatened or intimidated. I did not say Barry Manilow is a weapon of mass destruction."

The plan has apparently gone well down with the 400-odd businesses affected by the yoof menace, but the kids themselves simply laughed in the face of Manilow. Sixteen-year-old Emma Belcher insisted: "We would just bring a stereo and play it louder."

Lonsdale responded to this challenge by threatening decibel-excessive hoodies with the city's anti-noise laws.

What he should have done, of course, is administered the little scamp a cautionary tasering for her trouble. Followers of anti-youth policing policy will, of course, be aware that the UK has opted to spare errant children the fearful Manilow treatment, and just let them off with some light electro-justice. Thank God we still live in a civilised country, eh? ®

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