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Spot the signs of 'cuckooing'

Cuckooing - Spot the signs


Professional criminals are targeting the homes of vulnerable people and using them for drug-dealing – a process known as “cuckooing”. Dealers often entice the vulnerable person into allowing their home to be used for drug dealing by giving them free drugs or offering to pay for food or utilities. These criminals are very selective about who they target as “cuckoo” victims and are often entrepreneurial. A lot of the time victims are lonely, isolated, or frequent drug users themselves. “Cuckooing” means the criminals can operate from an unobtrusive property, making it an attractive option. They can then use the premises to deal and manufacture drugs in an environment that is not known to police, usually staying for just one day at a time. When the dealers 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. The victims of this type of exploitation could easily be your neighbours or other people you know. Just one phone call to the police or Crimestoppers could give the police and other agencies the ability to change someone’s life.


Signs to look out for 

Often takes place in multi-occupancy or social housing 

An increase in the number of comings and goings from the property

Offenders could have new vehicles or hire cars outside the address

Possible increase in anti-social behaviour in and around the property

The victim will often disengage with support services

New, unfamiliar person visiting the property


If you are concerned about drug related crime where you live you can call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also call crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

If you have some information you would like to share now, you can also reply to this alert and a neighbourhood officer will see your message. 







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Message Sent By
Vicky Shears
(Police, Police Officer, Slough)

Neighbourhood Alert Cyber Essentials