Three arrested as police attend Hastings property

Police arrested three men who were found inside the home of a vulnerable person suspected of being a victim of cuckooing, police said.

Cuckooing is where organised crime groups tend to use a local property, generally belonging to a vulnerable person, sometimes a drug user, as a base for their illegal activities.

Officers from Sussex Police have been joining with STAR Drug and Alcohol Service and Adult Social Care to staff the ‘cuckoo car’ – a multi-agency approach visiting vulnerable people who are susceptible to being exploited by gangs associated with county lines.

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On checking one address on Tuesday afternoon (August 24), four men were found inside the home of a vulnerable person, police said.


All four men provided details which were suspected to be false, according to police, and so powers under Section 61 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 were used to request their fingerprints outside of custody.

Using a mobile fingerprint scanner, the identities of the men were confirmed and three were arrested – one on recall to prison, one who was wanted on warrant, and one for breach of court bail, a police spokesman said on Friday (August 27).

Sergeant Ben Woods of the Hastings Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This is a brilliant example of not only partnership working and intelligence-led policing, but the use of equipment and technology available to us which led to the arrest of three people – one of whom was wanted by the prison and one of whom was wanted by the court.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to identify and support vulnerable residents in our community.”