Is it antisocial behaviour (ASB)?
Drug dealing and using is a criminal offence. Please report it to the police immediately. This includes cannabis.
You may hear the phrases ‘cuckooing’ or ‘county lines’. These are drug dealing terms. Our Housing officers are using their local knowledge to spot the signs of abuse and exploitation, particularly of drug gangs exploiting vulnerable residents and young people. It’s a serious problem, especially for places with good transport links.
What is cuckooing?
Cuckooing is a term for the takeover of a house by gangs from outside the area who use the home as a base. They specifically target and befriend vulnerable people (such as those with support needs, learning disabilities or mental health problems) as they may be isolated, lonely and easy to manipulate. The next thing the person knows, their home’s been taken over and someone from the gang is staying there – exploiting others through illegal activities such as prostitution, people trafficking, modern slavery and drug dealing.
County lines - Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults
‘County lines’ is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and then exploiting local children and vulnerable people to sell drugs.
The gang might also send young vulnerable people from their own area to distribute drugs, often intimidating and threatening them to make them stay. The impact of this is that young people become indebted to the gang and are forced into criminal activity and exploitation to pay off debts and are living in fear, feeling they’re trapped.
What you can do
- After you’ve talked to the police, please get in touch with our Contact Centre by calling 0300 5000 926. We need to know your incident report number and the police officer you spoke to. We’ll use this information to work with them and you on what happens next.
- If you’d rather send us a written report, please fill in our ASB form – we'll aim to respond to you within two working days.
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