Drug gangs ‘cuckooing’ homes of the vulnerable
CRIMINALS from Birmingham are invading the homes of vulnerable residents – and using them as a base for drug dealing.
Police say crooks are leaving the inner city where gang violence is rife and befriending vulnerable homeowners in quieter areas before using their houses as drug dens.
But officers are worried that the practice, called ‘cuckooing’, could pose life-threatening dangers to residents whose houses are being taken over.
Birmingham gangs are branching out from the city - where expanding territory can bring them into violent conflict with other criminals.
Instead they are moving into quieter areas and taking over.
Banbury police revealed that criminals from Birmingham have even invaded their area 50 miles away in Oxfordshire, and taking over homes.
A spokesman said officers had this week carried out raids to tackle ‘cuckooing’ and explained: “This was an operation designed to target organised crime groups operating across county drug lines who are supplying controlled drugs in Banbury.
“These groups from big cities such as Birmingham have been operating in the town and have been exploiting vulnerable people.
“This involves taking over the addresses of vulnerable adults in order to deal drugs from them.”
Police say local neighbourhood knowledge is key, and urged residents to get in touch.
Gang members mainly target the homes of drug addicts and alcoholics, offering illegal substances and alcohol as incentives to join in with the drug dealing and submit to their orders.