Shropshire Star

Cathy Dobbs: Menace of cuckoo criminals can be anywhere

Cathy Dobbs’ weekly look at life.

Cuckooing is a term used by police when the home of a vulnerable person is taken over by criminal gangs

Have you heard of cuckooing? I hadn’t until I was told it had happened in the beautiful city of Lichfield.

It’s a term used by police when the home of a vulnerable person is taken over by criminal gangs. It’s linked with county lines drug trafficking, where children and adults are manipulated into becoming runners to transport drugs and cash across the country.

According to my friend, who lives just a few doors down from where this all happened, the gang had moved into a lone woman’s flat and were coming and going at all hours, always in different cars.

If I’m honest, I wouldn’t have thought twice if you’d told me this was happening in parts of Birmingham – but Lichfield! You know, that tourist hotspot where you can get a nice pot of tea and scone at one of the dozens of cafes, walk around the breathtaking cathedral and watch newly married couples posing for pictures in pretty Beacon Park.

From now on if I catch sight of a Ferrari or Porsche 911 outside a restaurant I’ll wonder if the owner is one of our local drug dealers, enjoying a night out on the town after a hard day ruining other people’s lives.


After the furore surrounding the release of the Hogwarts Legacy game, it’s good to see that, once again, the haters are out of touch with the majority. The game has been very popular and already broken records, despite the haters on Twitter trying to put a dampener on its release in a pathetic bid to get back at JK Rowling for her pro-women stance. I haven’t got a Playstation or an X-Box but I may just treat a gamer I know to Hogwarts Legacy.


Queen Consort Camilla managed to charm the crowds on Sunday when she appeared on Antiques Roadshow. It was just a few months ago that her husband, King Charles, appeared on The Repair Shop where he had a similar effect, coming across as fun, relaxed and down to earth.

We are entering a new era with the royal family where they want to connect with us and appear more open. However, I’m sure they will still adhere to the Never Complain, Never Explain motto, which has allowed them to keep their dignity during the Harry and Megan debacle.


Telford & Wrekin and Wolverhampton have come out as top places to build your own home. So, what is it that puts these places at the top of such a prestigious list – good schools, great parks, nice people? No, it’s that the land and construction costs are cheap and councils are more likely to agree to planning applications.

It’s no wonder the West Midlands our roads are filled with mud from the numerous house building projects when our land is dirt cheap.