Practice known as cuckooing leaves victims facing violence and abuse, police warn

Thousands of vulnerable people in the UK are having their homes taken over by drug gangs who use the premises to stash weapons and sell illegal substances, the Guardian has learned.

The scale of cuckooing, as it is known, has been revealed and officers warn that the problem, which involves dealers befriending vulnerable individuals whose homes they turn into a place to keep and sell drugs – known as a traphouse – leaves victims facing violence and abuse. Diane Hill, a Metropolitan police sergeant, said: “Thousands of people across the UK are affected by this. In the last month in Greenwich West we have had three cuckooing incidents. Across the whole of Britain it’s a vast problem,.”

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