Out-of-town drug dealers looking to base themselves in south Essex are taking over the homes of vulnerable people, police have warned.Oh no! Those dastardly fiends! Who are they targeting, the elderly? The learning disabled?
The tactic, known as “cuckooing” , after the way cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, involves gangs taking over drug users’ homes to store and deal drugs.Oh.
Sgt Ben Woollard, who is working with the Operation Raptor team, set up to tackle and disrupt drug-dealing gangs in the area, said his team had encountered the practice in both Southend and Basildon.
He added: “We are acutely aware of people who have their homes taken over by drug-dealing gangs and are under duress.
“At the forefront of our minds is the vulnerability of the victims of cuckooing.
“We will look to secure the safety of the individual, by getting them moved, using partner agencies or employing other tactics.
“They are often vulnerable, by the nature of their addiction, and we try to tackle that head-on as well.”*shrugs*