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NZ unleashes sonic Manilow weapon

Oh Barry, you came and you dispersed my mallrats

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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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