Man arrested as police in Welwyn Hatfield take on cuckooing
PUBLISHED: 06:58 12 February 2020
A man has been arrested as police in Welwyn Hatfield tackle cuckooing - where drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.
On Friday January 31, officers gained access to a property in Hatfield and arrested a 24-year-old man, of no fixed abode, on suspicion of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.
The man has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Officers identified that the property, in Wood Common, was potentially being cuckooed and safeguarding measures have now been put in place.
The arrest follows on from a joint campaign in December between the police and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to raise awareness of the signs of cuckooing.
Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Wayne Nash said: "The devastating impact of drugs cannot be underestimated and it is often our most vulnerable members of the community who are worst affected.
"We do all we can to disrupt the local drugs trade and cracking down on cuckooing is a big part of this, we need your help to do this though."
Council leader, Councillor Tony Kingsbury, said: "Cuckooing affects the wider community as well as vulnerable tenants.
"To help us to stop this exploitation it's important that neighbours and communities are able to spot the signs and report it early to help reduce the impact on all concerned."
Signs of cuckooing:
· Lots of different people coming and going from a property during the day and at night
You may also want to watch:
· Suspicious smells coming from the property
· Windows covered or curtains closed all of the time
· Cars pulling up to or near to the property for a short period of time
· An increase in anti-social behaviour around the property
· You haven't seen the person who lives there recently or other people appear to be living there
You can help police by reporting anything suspicious straight away.
You can also report anti-social behaviour by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01707 357706.
Alternatively, you can report information anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.