I got the fantastic opportunity to see first-hand Andy Coulson record his latest ‘Crisis what Crisis’ podcast, focused on the evil crime of cuckooing.
Cuckooing is when your home is taken over, usually by a gang, and most often used as a base for drug dealing or prostitution. It is a form of modern slavery and an issue we have long campaigned about at the Centre for Social Justice. The victims are often targeted because they are vulnerable through addiction, age or disability.
It’s a shocker that despite 1-in-8 people saying they have seen signs of cuckooing in their community, there were only 114 convictions for modern slavery in 2021.
Together with interviewing Sir Iain Duncan Smith and CSJ researcher, Louise Gleich, Andy heard some harrowing testimony from a person who had been enslaved in their own home. It was a truly awful story and hard to imagine how such a thing could happen in modern-day Britain.
There are some practical, low cost and straightforward things the government can do to quickly stop such barbarism. For example, cuckooing should be recognised as a specific crime which would make it much easier for the police and prosecution services to catch and punish the gangsters.
And there should be a national register for modern slavery offenders, just like there is for sex offenders. This would help the police in preventing slavers from slipping through the net.