More than a dozen ‘cuckooing’ cases investigated at Nuneaton and Bedworth council properties
More than a dozen ‘cuckooing’ cases are being investigated at Nuneaton and Bedworth council properties. The Town Hall has said in a report, that in the last 12 months its housing team have been dealing with 18 suspected ‘cuckooing’ cases.
This is more than triple the amount of cases in the previous year, which stood at five. ‘Cuckooing’ is one of a number of rising incidents linked to Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) within its housing stock.
“It has become apparent over the past few years that the seriousness of ASB cases is increasing and the complexity of our cases has also increased significantly.
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“Cases involving mental health and other complex issues, such as cuckooing are becoming more and more frequent. This is in addition to Serious Organised Crime taking place throughout the Borough, in particular County Lines cases which the anti-social behaviour officers get heavily involved in.”
In regards to the 18 cases, the council said that they involve ‘very vulnerable’ residents.. This means its team regularly meets with police and other agencies to discuss safe-guarding and to help get evidence to stop the practice.
What is cuckooing?
Cuckooing is when drug dealers take over the property of a vulnerable person and use it as a base to deal from. Victims of ‘cuckooing’ are often drug users but can include older people, those suffering from mental or physical health problems, female sex workers, single mums and those living in poverty.
Dealers lure their victims by offering free drugs or offer to pay for food or utilities to use their home for dealing. But, once they gain control, gangs move in with the risk of domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and violence. Children as well as adults are used as drug runners. It is common for gangs to have access to several addresses. They move quickly between vulnerable people’s homes for just a few hours, a couple of days or sometimes longer. This helps the Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) from getting caught.
What are the signs of cuckooing?
Warwickshire Police say there are several signs to look out for that may indicate someone is a victim of cuckooing:
- Frequent visitors at unsociable hours
- Changes in your neighbour’s daily routine
- Unusual smells coming from a property
- Suspicious or unfamiliar vehicles outside an address
Anyone who has concerns about drug-related crime in their area or thinks someone may be a victim of drug exploitation, should call police on 101.
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