Police have recovered a number of weapons after a warrant at a suspected cuckooed address in Flitwick.
The operation on Friday morning by community officers and Bedfordshire Police’s Boson guns and gangs team found a knife and a machete at the address in Ivel Way.
Officers also recovered suspected drug dealing paraphernalia and a number of mobile phones. They hope to secure a closure order on the property this week.
Police worked with housing association Grand Union Housing to safeguard the occupant at the address, who was the only person in the property at the time.
Officers are also working to support other people potentially at risk of cuckooing and urging them to report any concerns they have to police.
Cuckooing involves drug dealers taking over a vulnerable person’s property and using it as a base for their criminal enterprise.
These drugs gangs often use violence and intimidation to force their way into the cuckooed address.
The person living at the property may not object at first, but can soon find their home completely overtaken by the drugs gangs and their customers.
The model is particularly used by county lines dealers, gangs from other parts of the country such as London which come to Bedfordshire to sell drugs.
However, this type of exploitation is also being used by local dealers in the county.
PC Aaron Dagley, from the north rural community team, who led Friday’s operation, said: “It is good news that these dangerous weapons have been taken off the streets.
“Much of the most serious and violent crime in our county is linked to the supply of drugs. That’s why it is so important we continue to target dealers and support those at risk.
“People may assume that county lines and cuckooing only happens in Bedfordshire’s bigger towns, but this is absolutely not the case.
“Vulnerable people across the county are at risk from these gangs, including those in rural areas, which is why it is so important the public report any suspicions to us so we can end this criminal exploitation.”
Signs that cuckooing may be going on at a property include:
• An increase in people entering and leaving
• An increase in cars or bikes outside
• Possible increase in anti-social behaviour
• Increasing litter outside
• Signs of drugs use
• Lack of healthcare visitors
Anyone with any information or suspicions that cuckooing is taking place should contact police on 101
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111