An Examination of the Insights and Experiences of Cuckooing Experts: Report For Kirklees Council

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


• County lines is used to define a nation-wide method of selling drugs
• A county lines operation involves individuals who undertake various roles
• Cuckooing is a form of exploitation in which individuals move themselves or others into the address of another
• There are large intelligence gaps within policing
• Hindered by the fact that cuckooing is not a home office classified crime type
• The process in which individuals become a victim of cuckooing varies
• Four typologies of cuckooing have been put forward: parasitic nest invading, quasi-cuckooing, coupling and local cuckooing.
• Access to victims by offenders was often found to be via the drug dealing activity
• Drug addiction may cause an individual to be vulnerable to cuckooing
• A known unknown is what makes someone a suitable victim
• One approach of stopping cuckooing was by issuing them ‘cuckooing letters’.

• A total of 39 individuals took part in the study.
• They were drawn from mostly policing, public sector and safeguarding roles
• A questionnaire was administered in which they were asked about their experiences
• The questionnaire was distributed through national exploitation working groups
• The data was analysed using thematic analysis

Main Findings
• A number of core themes were generated from the findings such as the prevalence of the offence, risk factors related to it, signs and indicators of cuckooing, levels of awareness and challenges of dealing with it.

• A number of recommendations were made across 6 key areas: Education & Training, Data, Reporting, Legislation, Enforcement/Initiatives, Research.

• There is a serious lack of empirical work into the issue of cuckooing
• While there has been advancement in data collection and data sharing further research is needed to better understand the nature of the issue overall.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyKirklees Metropolitan Council
Number of pages33
Publication statusUnpublished - 1 Nov 2023

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