'Asbo packs' tell househunters if a new area really is desirable


Last updated at 00:54 11 May 2008

Househunters used to have to rely on estate agents and the odd tip-off to assess how friendly their new neighbours would be.

But now, would-be homebuyers can order 'Asbo packs', giving prospective addresses a 'danger' rating, including data on how many local youths are under curfew.

Asbodata, a company set up by four criminal lawyers, supplies information on a range of antisocial behaviour "indicators", such as noise pollution, alcohol-related crime and gang violence.

Co-director Kenneth Papenfus had the idea for the business when a youth smashed his car window.

"I was parking where some boys were playing football," he said. "One of them booted the ball through my window. I didn't report it to the police. I knew they wouldn't do anything."

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Asbodata obtains unpublished data from the police, councils and other public bodies.

It then breaks it down, giving each road a rating from zero, for no recorded anti-social behaviour, to ten, where there is a very high risk. Each pack costs £80 and takes about a month to produce.

Mr Papenfus, 39, said: "Anti-social behaviour is rising yet information is often anecdotal or difficult to interpret.

Prospective homebuyers now have access to reliable information on the safety of a neighbourhood before they move.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "This is a sad indictment of Labour's inability to tackle anti-social behaviour."

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