Police have been criticised after the theme tune of Alvin and the Chipmunks was repeatedly played to stop homeless people from sleeping at a bus station in Bournemouth.
The high-pitched music was on a song playlist designed to prevent ‘rough sleeping’, according to Dorset Police – but it has since been stopped after local residents branded it ‘cruel and unnecessary’.
A selection of Christmas Carols sung in the inimitable, high-pitched tones of the chipmunks were also played.
Bournemouth Borough Council now say that it was the police’s decision to play the high-pitched song, and they have now opted to play bagpipe music instead.
‘It’s gone back to bagpipe music now,’ a spokesman said.
‘The police changed it for a few nights, they made the decision. The decision to play music the council’s, but not to play the chipmunk music.’
Describing the use of music to deter rough sleepers, the council previously said: ‘We have been trialling the playing of music at night time to deter rough sleeping. All of these activities appear to be helping but we will continue to monitor the situation.
‘The playing of music has been used for the last ten years in car parks to address the same issue.’
Local resident Carla Johnson was among those who criticised the sounds.
‘The council should be taken to court for disturbing the peace. They are more of a nuisance than the homeless,’ she said.
Claudia Doak added: ‘The council should be taken to court for disturbing the peace. They are more of a nuisance than the homeless.’