The role of housing when tackling County Lines

Together we are Forbes


21 October, 2020

Darren Burton
Head of Housing Consultancy Service

Earlier this week Darren Burton, Head of Housing Consultancy at Forbes and D.I Kirsten Dent, NPCC County Lines Lead for Movement and Transport, National County Lines Coordination Centre, presented a webinar on the topical issue of County Lines.

100 delegates joined the webinar where D.I Dent gave an overview of what County Lines is, who is vulnerable, signs/indicators, cuckooing, trap houses and the targeted approach currently being taken. This was followed by Darren who covered the role of housing when tackling County Lines.

D.I Dent gave a regional overview of the Yorkshire area where 60% of cuckooed addresses are recorded as being social housing properties.

Both Darren and D.I Dent emphasised the importance of Registered Housing Providers playing their part in tackling County Lines by working together with other organisations such as Police, Charities and Local Authorities to provide a multi agency response.

The Housing Team at Forbes have seen an increase in the number of cuckooing cases referred to them from Housing Association clients and believe this is because social housing is often provided to the most vulnerable in society, making tenants a target for criminal gangs. Darren Burton has worked with a number of Registered Housing Providers throughout the UK to develop links with partner agencies and Third Sector organisations resulting in the closure of cuckooed properties. In each of these cases, the Housing Provider played a key role in the investigatory process including information sharing, evidence gathering and facilitating support.

Forbes Solicitors are actively involved in discussions with the Police and the Offices of the Police & Crime Commissioners at both a regional and national level to develop a consistent approach for tackling these increasing prominent issues within our communities. Further online events and training are in the currently being planned so we will keep everyone updated.

If you require any support with the County Lines case management process please contact Darren Burton, Head of Housing Consultancy Services on 07976 265 555 or email

Learn more about our Housing & Regeneration department here

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