Police have called on Holywell residents to help get “drug dealers booted out” by passing on any information about ‘Cuckooing’ to local officers.
In a post on social media Police Community Support Officer Gareth Price said,
“Reports of cuckooing going on around The Strand in Holywell. Anyone with any information on this please get in touch so we can safeguard them and get these drug dealers booted out.”
Reports of cuckooing going on around The Strand in Holywell. Anyone with any information on this please get in touch so we can safe guard them and get these drug dealers booted out. @Holywell_Town @NWPolice @NWPNorthFlint
— PCSO2944 Gaz (@NWP_PCSO2944) July 2, 2019
What is Cuckooing?
‘Cuckooing’ is when Organised Crime Groups (OCG’s) target the homes of vulnerable adults so they can use the property for drug-dealing and other criminal activities.
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.
Victims may suffer from other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism, and are often already known to the police.
Dealers often approach the victim offering free drugs to use their home for dealing.
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 gangs evade detection. By ‘cuckooing’ the criminals can operate from a discreet property, which is out of sight, making it an attractive option.
They can then use the premises to deal and manufacture drugs in an environment under the police radar.
These gangs may use accommodation in rural areas, including serviced apartments, holiday lets, budget hotels and caravan parks.
When the criminals use the victim’s property for criminal enterprises, the inhabitants become terrified of going to the police for fear of being suspected of involvement in drug dealing or being identified as a member of the group, which would result in their eviction from the property.
Some vulnerable adults may be forced to leave their homes, making themselves homeless and leaving the gangs free to sell drugs in their absence.
Stay aware and spot potential signs of drug dealers near you.
Signs to look out for if you think you are living within or near a property used to deal drugs; or if you are concerned about your property as a landlord or property manager include:
-usually takes place in a multi-occupancy or social housing property
-increase in the number of coming and goings /people entering and leaving
-increase in cars or bikes outside
-offenders will often have new vehicles outside the property
-frequently use taxis or hire cars
-possible increase in anti-social activity in and around the property
-increase in litter outside
-disengagement with support services
-lack of healthcare visitors
-professionals visiting may be aware of new unidentified persons in the property
-the property may become to appear almost sparse of valuable possessions inside and go into a state of disrepair
If you think you have spotted a drugs ‘cuckoo’ or if you’re concerned about a drug related crime where you live, call the police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency.
If you don’t want to speak to the police directly, you can call the anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111