Officers in Dingle and Toxteth, working with partners in the Violence Reduction Partnership and Liverpool City Council, have been carrying out activity in the area to raise awareness of the Youknowwho ‘cuckooing’ campaign.
Youknowwho is a campaign to spread awareness and gather information of cuckooing. Cuckooing is when organised criminal gangs, who are responsible for selling drugs, take over the home of a person who may be vulnerable through alcohol, drug dependencies, financial difficulties, disabilities or just through being isolated. Their homes are then exploited to store and deal illegal drugs.
An ad van has been in and around the neighbourhood with the message – “Gangs prey on the vulnerable, they take over their homes, they bring violence and they make life a misery.” Officers have also been door to door delivering Youknowwho leaflets, signposting people to what the signs of cuckooing are and asking the community for information.
Local Policing Inspector Dave Uren said: “Our message is simple – there are vulnerable members of our community who are being preyed on and exploited and it has to be stopped. In order to do that, we need to know what you know.
“This might be happening to your next door neighbour or someone in your street. These people are being made to do things they don’t want to – their homes are being used to store drugs or to sell drugs. Often these victims don’t know where to turn and can’t see a way out. If we know about them, we, alongside our partners, can help.
“We are committed to protecting vulnerable members of society who fall prey to these gangs and we’re asking for the community’s help. The leaflets we have distributed in the area allow residents to simply and completely anonymously give information to us, so we can help these vulnerable people out of the scary and often dangerous positions they find themselves in.”
Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Liz Parsons said: “We welcome this campaign and the opportunity to work with our partners to raise awareness of cuckooing. This can happen in any area and we know that neighbours and ordinary people in the community are key to spotting the signs, raising the alarm and getting help for those affected.”
Alongside this week’s activity, the force’s Project Medusa, which consists of different types of operational activity, continues to use a variety of tactics to effectively disrupt and in turn bring down the organised criminal gangs responsible for this type of criminality.
For more information visit youknowwho.info