For my dissertation I am going to be studying the recent issue/ epidemic of cuckooing; this is a term signifying an unwelcome or unwanted intruder after the nest invading tendencies of cuckoo birds and relates to organized crime gangs from outer cities targeting vulnerable people, taking over their homes to sell drugs and other paraphernalia. This has become allied with the extensive drug supply model known as ‘County Lines’.
This is a particular under researched subject with little academic support/ criticisms into how these serious crime gangs are formed with their organisational hierarchies and their roles within UK drug distribution in county lines. This does provide a narrative of how times have changed and the thought process that goes into drug dealers being under the radar in plain sight and, at the expense of exploiting vulnerable people (Spicer, 2018).
I will predominantly looking into the issue of the opportunistic grooming of vulnerable young people Windle and Briggs, 2015), for example those who are living in poverty, from broken homes or in care etc. with these Organise Crime Gangs selling them a ‘dream’ and offering security and protection; something which they have never had before. I will be touching upon the role the media plays in influencing these young people, glamorising crime and sending the message that ‘crime pays’.
This ‘dream’ then leads on to entrapment by the OCG, which I will relate to Anfield/ Fernhill Gangs in Liverpool through Merseyside Police Operation Scarva, 2015.
The issues in bringing these OCG to justice – Moving these young people to different towns to distribute drugs and under duress breaches the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in relation to trafficking and slavery also the threat made to these Young people may hinder gaining a conviction.
The impact this has on the Young Person. Is there enough being done to safeguard these young people through social care and education etc.? Are they being unfairly criminalised for a situation out of their control? For example, the teens involved in the Anfield/ Fernhill Gangs were convicted for antisocial crimes such as ‘bagging’ (stabbing someone in the buttocks so not to cause a fatality), the crimes were dealt with before the issue of being exploited became apparent.
What can be done to alleviate this issue?
Closing down crack houses/ drug dens under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (landlords). However this can cause problems for the possible vulnerable tenant of the property having their residence taken away at the expense of OCGs.