A large amount of cocaine, heroin, cash and phones have been recovered and a man has been arrested following a report of suspected ‘cuckooing.’
Officers from the Bassetlaw Neighbourhood Policing Team had been notified by the District Council of concerns relating to a house in Retford.
Within 24 hours, on Tuesday (8 September) they gained entry to the property in the Spital Hill area and discovered drugs and other items, arresting a man on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. The arrested man, from outside the area, was also wanted in connection to a burglary in another county.
It’s believed the occupant of the house was unaware of who had been visiting and staying there.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Sam Pearson said: “Cuckooing is a tactic used by county lines dealers and gangs across the country. It’s not specific to Retford and this is one of the first suspected cases we’ve come across in this area. However, we are taking it extremely seriously, and now it is on our radar we will be keeping watch for any similar situations that may arise.
“We ask anyone who has concerns perhaps about someone they know who might be being groomed in this way, or who has seen suspicious activity taking place at a property, to get in touch with us as we will act on this information.
“We want to make sure these drug dealers don’t come into our area and take advantage of the vulnerable people living here.”
Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Our Community Safety Team collaborated with Nottinghamshire Police to protect and safeguard residents whose home had been taken over by people who had no right to be there. This was a great result for the occupant of the house and the partnership between the Police and the Council as part of our joint working to protect our community and disrupt the supply of drugs locally. This type of behaviour is not acceptable in our community and we would encourage residents to report any suspicious activity to the police or ourselves.”
The incident comes ahead of a regional campaign to encourage people to look out for signs of criminal exploitation and report any concerns.
The #LookCloser event is being launched by on Monday (14 September) alongside the five forces, Childen’s Society, British Transport Police and other partners and transport hubs.
The week-long campaign aims to raise awareness of the County Lines method and the signs by which to identify victims.
If you have concerns that cuckooing or any County Lines methods are taking place in your area, please contact us on 101.