Drug gangs ‘cuck­oo­ing’ homes of the vul­ner­a­ble

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

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.

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