This is criminal behaviour.

This is when professional criminals target a person’s home, often belonging to a vulnerable person, so that the property can be used for drug dealing (including county lines).

These properties – also called ‘trap houses’ or ‘safe houses’ – may be used for short periods of time before operations move elsewhere. During this time the person may experience intimidation, violence and abuse.

Cuckooing often takes place in multi-occupancy or social housing properties, but can happen anywhere.

The following signs could be an indication of cuckooing:

  • An increase in the number of coming and goings
  • New vehicles outside the property, or frequent use of taxis or hire cars
  • Increase in anti-social behaviour in and around the property
  • Disengagement with support services
  • New unidentified persons in the property
  • Sparse furnishings / possessions
  • The property falling into disrepair

This is a criminal offence and you need to report it to the police immediately. Call the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You do not have to give your name when reporting an incident to the police.

If you don’t want to speak to the police directly, you can call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on: 0800 555 111 or contact your local authority’s adult Safeguarding Team.

If you are concerned for the safety of an Adult, Young Person or Child, please visit our Safeguarding page to find out more information .

Additional information about Crimestoppers

  • Independent charity
  • Anonymous on 0800 555 111
  • No personal details are taken, info is not traced or recorded and you will not be required to go to court