Two men have been arrested after a vulnerable man reported his home had been taken over by people alleged to be involved in drug dealing.
Essex Police’s Operation Raptor team is safeguarding the victim after he was assaulted and drugs were sold from his home in the Blackshots area of Grays.
He also reported being threatened and his phone was stolen.
Officers from Operation Raptor and our Disruptor Team in Grays made sure he was safe and two men – an 18-year-old from Romford and 25-year-old from Shoreditch – were arrested on suspicion of assault, making threats to kill and theft.
They have been released on conditional bail until later this month while enquiries continue.
PC Mason Doyle said: “Criminals are known to target vulnerable people and take over their homes to use them as a base for drug dealing.
“I would ask anyone who feels this is happening to them or someone they know to please tell us, so we can make sure they are safe and deal with those who are exploiting them.”
Essex Police is part of the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit, which has provided training to more than 450 police and partner agency staff to recognise the signs of cuckooing.
Leaflets and posters describing the signs of cuckooing and how to get help have also been sent to victims, their neighbours, community partners, and police stations.
For more information on cuckooing visit: https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/cl/county-lines/
If you are a victim, call 999.
You can also report online at https://www.essex.police.uk and use the ‘Live
Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.
If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service 18000.
Information can also be given to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org
Call Essex Police on 101.