This is when professional criminals target a person’s home (often belonging to a vulnerable person) so that the property can be used for drug dealing (including county lines).
These properties – also called ‘trap houses’ or ‘safe houses’ – may be used for short periods of time before operations move elsewhere. During this time the person may experience intimidation, violence and abuse.
Cuckooing often takes place in multi-occupancy or social housing properties, but can happen anywhere.
The following signs could be an indication of cuckooing:
- an increase in the number of coming and goings
- new vehicles outside the property, or frequent use of taxis or hire cars
- increase in anti-social behaviour in and around the property
- disengagement with support services
- new unidentified persons in the property
- sparse furnishings / possessions
- the property falling into disrepair