Cuckooing Salford

Adult exploitation (‘Cuckooing’) in Salford, Greater Manchester, UK 

Project overview

‘Cuckooing’, a term coined by the police, is the practice of drug dealers / crime gangs taking over the home of an ‘at-risk’ adult and using it as a place to deal, store or take drugs, facilitate sex work, or to live. Criminals target those who are vulnerable due to substance abuse, mental health issues, learning disabilities or loneliness, befriending them or promising drugs in exchange for use of the property. 

This project aims to understand, identify and evaluate the requirements of an adult health / social care provision to combat the emerging issue of adult exploitation, including cuckooing, as well as supporting the wider safeguarding agenda in Salford. The project will assist the Salford Safeguarding Adults Board and its partners in developing a robust service model in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police and children’s services (Complex Safeguarding Hub).  

This project seeks to understand what actions have been helpful / supportive to adult victims of cuckooing and where improvements could have been made. Finally, the project will set out pathways and connectivity for adult victims of cuckooing throughout Salford, identifying gaps or barriers and areas of good practice. 

Expected outcomes

  • Provide an overview of current pathways for adult victims of cuckooing in Salford 
  • Focus on good practice and areas for improvement 
  • Provide case examples 
  • Provide a voice for victims of cuckooing 
  • Gather views from agencies and organisations engaged with, and experienced in, providing victim support 

Applications and benefits

This project will provide an increased understanding by SAB and its partners of cuckooing, including: 

  • What it is 
  • How and why it happens 
  • Best practices to address cuckooing, particularly in relation to victim support 

Longer term, it is hoped the results of this project will be incorporated into policy documents to ensure the consideration of specific needs of cuckooing survivors.  

Get in touch with us

If you’d like to find out more about this project, or our work in this critical area, please contact 

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