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Published: Thursday, 12th December 2019

We have won a closure order for a property in Plumstead, to tackle the persistent anti-social behaviour and criminal activity taking place there.

Reports from residents and council staff revealed that several suspicious visitors frequented the property and drug paraphernalia was being left in stairwells. 

Following a council investigation, an application for a closure order was made and granted at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 27 November 2019.

The cuckooed council flat was taken over by drug dealers and used as a location for addicts to buy and take drugs. The one-bedroom flat belongs to a vulnerable resident with complex needs.

The property has now been secured against entry. The closure order makes it a criminal offence for anyone to enter the property for three months, and anyone who breaches this will be arrested. We are also considering outright possession of the property.

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Community Safety said: “These criminals who participate in cuckooing target some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and will often use violence or threats of violence to control them.

“This premises closure was a necessary step to safeguard a vulnerable tenant and protect residents. We will continue to ensure the safety of all residents by working alongside the police and other agencies to tackle drugs and criminal exploitation.”

What is cuckooing?

Cuckooing is a form of criminal exploitation, when drug gangs target vulnerable residents and take over their homes to store, use and sell drugs from – these vulnerable residents usually have substance/alcohol abuse or mental health issues and are taken advantage of.

What are the signs of cuckooing?

Signs that a property might be cuckooed include: 

  • an increase in different people entering and leaving the property
  • signs of drug use
  • increased litter outside
  • an increase of different cars or bikes parked outside.

If three or more of these signs are taking place, it could indicate that the property is being cuckooed.

If you suspect cuckooing may be taking place in a property in Royal Greenwich, you should call the police non-emergency number on 101 or report it online.

In an emergency, always call 999.