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Software to take a hard line on thugs

PUBLISHED: 07:41 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:01 22 October 2010

If noisy neighbours, troublesome teens or vicious vandals are the bane of your life, a former RAF engineer may have the answer to your prayers.

If noisy neighbours, troublesome teens or vicious vandals are the bane of your life, a former RAF engineer may have the answer to your prayers.

John Younie, who runs a software company from his home in Dereham, has designed a software system to help housing associations and police tackle these issues.

And with anti-social behaviour and respect at the top of the government's hit-list, this initiative is getting increasing demand around the region.

Mr Younie designed the software after being contacted by David Seaton, head of housing at Dereham-based Peddars Way Housing Association, and Richard York, a former detective constable in the Metropolitan Police and a private investigator at McRae York Thompson.

They were looking for a system to understand patterns of behaviour and recognise and deal with problem tenants speedily.

Mr Younie said: "The idea is to give organisations a tool kit. It can track people all over the country. It acts like a search engine. You can put in a name, be it perpetrator, suspect or victim. You can then access their history in social housing."

Mr Seaton said: "We organised everything onto one system; people's complaints, the history of their tenancies, so that this information could be shared with other associations and, if necessary, with solicitors very quickly.

"It has made us much more efficient. We can deal with residents' complaints more effectively. In particular our powers as a housing association to deal with anti-social behaviour have been hugely extended recently."

The system has also helped police when new fencing on the Abbey Estate, in Thetford, was repeatedly vandalised.

"We came in and pinpointed the area of fencing most likely to be targeted by feeding the information from the police into the new Tasbit system, and caught the culprits after just six hours," he said, adding that the scheme was already in demand.

"We've already sold the scheme to the Flagship Housing Group (to which Peddars Way belongs), North Norfolk District Council and a housing association in Billericay.

"We've even had interest from Yarmouth police."


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