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Address of concern and cuckooing

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Address of concern and cuckooing

What is cuckooing?

Cuckooing is a process where people target the homes of vulnerable adults, resulting in them losing control of their property. The property may then be used for criminal activity, including drug dealing, sexual crimes and storing weapons.

The vulnerable adult can be exploited and coerced to participate in criminal acts. Young people, vulnerable to criminal exploitation can also be associated with these properties. Cuckooed residents may be victims of crime and the Council, in partnership with the Police, will provide support to the cuckooed resident to get the help they need.

We can also take formal enforcement action to prevent people entering addresses which are being used for cuckooing. This can help to deter criminal activity and anti-social behaviour which have a detrimental effect on the wider community.

The signs of cuckooing and potential drug dealing

Look out for:

  • lots of visitors who don’t stay very long, arriving at all times of the day and night
  • people waiting in cars outside particular properties, exchanging small packets or cash
  • lots of visitors bringing items of value, such as TVs or bicycles, but then leaving the property empty handed
  • lone or vulnerable neighbours suddenly having groups of people living at their address
  • possible increase in anti-social behaviour
  • increasing litter outside a property
  • signs of drug use

Reporting your concerns

We need members of the community to be aware and look out for their neighbours who may be vulnerable.

The most at-risk properties are those of elderly residents, people with mental health problems, drug users and residents living on low income.

Please report to Police or the Council if you think the activity at a vulnerable person’s address is suspicious. The best advice is to trust your instincts. Even if someone isn’t being cuckooed, they may be being exploited in some other way, so it’s always worth reporting.

If you have suspicions, let us know as much information as possible. Use the points below as a guide:

  • the time, date and place of the activity
  • vehicle registrations, including the make model and colour
  • descriptions of people and what they were doing
  •  direction that they were travelling to and from
  • how many times you have seen them – is it always the same time of day?

Remember, don’t put yourself at risk. Please always pass the information to the Police or Council and do not confront or approach suspected criminals.

How to report

You can report to the police by calling 101 or report online.

Report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111

Report to Camden Council by emailing [email protected] or phone 0207 974 2915 (office hours only)

In an emergency, please call 999.