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Police to 'relentlessly pursue' drug dealers who take over vulnerable people's homes in Shropshire

By Dominic Robertson | Crime | Published:

Police have said they will "relentlessly pursue" those responsible for cuckooing after a teenage drug dealer was jailed for four years.

Kuziwakwashe Musonza was just 17 when a police swoop found him at the home of a vulnerable 66-year-old man at Dawley, Telford on January 10, 2018.

He was found to have electronic scales, a large samurai knife, five mobile phones, £470 cash, another set of scales and £1,400 worth of crack and heroin.

Musonza, from Hughes Avenue, Bradmore, now 18, was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court earlier this week.

Following the case West Mercia Police have said they are committed to making sure people cannot fall victim to 'cuckooing' – a practice where drug dealers take over the homes of vulnerable people and use them as a base for selling illegal substances.

Detective Sergeant Jon Taylor of West Mercia Police, warned people to be on the lookout to see if people are falling victim to cuckooing.

He said: “Cuckooing is a national issue and we know from gathering intelligence that one way drug dealers do this is by exploiting people in our community who are an easy target and vulnerable.

Warning signs

“The drug dealers will look to take over their homes, in the same way the cuckoo bird takes over another bird’s nest, to assist with their illegal operation be it for storing or dealing drugs.

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"We would ask residents to be aware of the warning signs that such activity may be happening in their neighbourhood and report any concerns.

“There are a number of potential signs of cuckooing which include the householder having new associates and increased visitors throughout the day and night, an increased number of vehicles outside the property including taxis or hire cars and bags of clothing or bedding around the property or other signs that people may be staying at the address.

“We will relentlessly pursue ‘cuckooing’ drug dealers and those who choose to engage themselves in the illegal supply of drugs and associated antisocial behaviour but we need the support of the community to do this."

He urged anyone with information to contact officers.

He said: “We would encourage people who have information about such activity to contact us by calling 101, or they can do this anonymously by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”

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