Tackling Cuckooing

I was really pleased to co-host a free webinar yesterday with Nikki Homes from Safer Together

Cuckooing is a complex and challenging issue for all community safety and health partners. It has a serious impact on those who are being exploited, as well as communities who are suffering from the symptoms of the problem. The ability to identify the issue and take strong partnership action to manage it, utilising support services and enforcement tools, is vital.

The webinar was kindly sponsored by Me Learning,  the leading provider of cutting-edge digital learning solutions across the public and private sector, and we were also joined by Darren Burton, Head of Consultancy Service at Forbes Solicitors and Inspector Ray Mavrakakis from Merseyside Police.

In the video below we discussed:

– what cuckooing is, the signs to look out for and who to refer concerns to
– the range of victims involved in these cases and the need to include safeguarding as part of the solution.
– how to best engage with safeguarding services
– the importance of partnership working, including the role of housing providers in tackling these issues
– a case study for how the issue has been effectively tackled, including discussions about some of the challenges that had to be overcome, the tools that were used and what worked well.

The event was designed to be relevant to all community safety partners, as well as those working to support the victims in these cases.

This has led to an increase in complaints to organisations, about the positioning of these devices and the impact on privacy.

As technology evolves, we have started to see the same types of issues playing out with video doorbells. These have seen a huge surge in popularity, with people embracing the ability to see who is knocking on their door, via their smartphone. In some instances, organisations are giving these video doorbells to residents, as a means of reassurance or to gather evidence for ASB/tenancy fraud cases.

As the use has increased, the number of complaints to officers has also risen, with neighbours raising issues with the placement of these doorbells. Whilst these types of complaints may seem minor, if not dealt with quickly and decisively, they can escalate to much more serious ASB, including threats and violence between parties.

This webinar was co-hosted with Pennington Manches Cooper, as a response to sector concerns about how to deal with the issues. It explores the law, considerations and practical advice about how to manage challenges.

Both myself and Sam Rose, Senior Associate from Pennington Manches Cooper have put together two reports to address some of the Q&A that wasn’t covered in the session. To read Sam’s report focussing on data protection click here. To read my report focussing on anti-social behaviour click here.

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