We worked alongside Cheshire Police last week (Friday 10th January 2020) to force entry into an address in Ditton following reports from a vulnerable customer that their flat was being used for drug and criminal activity.
One male was arrested for possession with intent to supply drugs and theft of a bike.
Recent months have seen increasing numbers of stories like this locally and nationally. Known as ‘cuckooing’, it is a type of crime which is on the rise in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing. Just like a cuckoo, the dealer moves in, takes over the property and turns it into a drugs den.
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.
Sharon Morris, Tenancy Services Manager at Halton Housing said: “We want to reassure our customers that we will be continuing to build on this success by working with our partners such as Cheshire Police to tackle the ongoing issue of cuckooing. We will act on any reports of this type of criminal activity taking place in our customers’ homes.”
The address has since been recovered and Halton Housing is providing ongoing support to the customer.
Awareness is the first step towards tackling this problem within our communities. Be aware ‘cuckooing‘ is happening in the Borough.
Find out more about cuckooing.
Halton Housing wants all of its customers to feel safe in their homes and have a dedicated Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) team to help us achieve this goal. Anyone who suspects ‘cuckooing’ is taking place is urged to contact the ASB team or Cheshire Police. Alternatively, customers can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.