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