What is Cuckooing?

Drug dealers use ‘cuckooing’ methods to target the most vulnerable individuals in our society. Cuckooing can be used in association with County Lines. Hampshire Constabulary is continuing to do all they can to pursue these criminals and this work is resulting in more arrests and convictions;

      • Cuckooing happens when a drug-dealer befriends, blackmails, or extorts, a vulnerable person who often lives alone, such as someone old, or someone with a drug addiction, then takes over their home and uses it as a place to sell drugs from;
      • The drug dealers then ‘pay’ the victim with drugs, usually crack cocaine and heroin, in exchange for staying at their home. Dealers sometimes also use the home as payment for a debt owed to them by the occupant;
      • They then use the home to run their county lines drugs operation from, putting the occupant and consequently the local community at risk of violence;
      • Cuckooing may be happening in your area and we want you to know what it is, how to spot the signs and what to do;
      • Police are committed to dismantling these networks and protect the young and vulnerable people who are exploited by networks and are subject to violence, fear and intimidation;
      • Intel can help police tackle those practising cuckooing and stop them from causing damage in communities.

The signs of cuckooing are:

      • Other people seen inside the house or flat who don’t normally live there
      • People coming and going from the property
      • More taxis and cars than usual appearing at the property
      • Not seeing the person who lives there as frequently
      • When you do see the occupant, they may appear anxious or distracted
      • Seeing drugs paraphernalia near to the property

If you spot any of these signs you can speak to local police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency

If you’d rather stay anonymous you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.