We realised that a mum and her two children, aged 7 and 9, needed our support. With the help of organisations across Cheshire, we have supported the mum to stay drug-free long-term. In turn, this has helped the children improve their attendance at school and they have caught up academically to their peers.
Firstly, we first worked alongside Cheshire Police to investigate the reports of anti-social behaviour from neighbours.
What we found out
We learned key facts from our investigation with Cheshire Police:
- There was somebody staying at the property - not our tenant - who was known to the police for drug dealing.
- Cheshire Police gained a warrant and found a large amount of cocaine in the home.
We made a referral to Cheshire East Child Services and worked alongside our partner agencies to prioritise the welfare of the children. An urgent child protection meeting was called.
When Cheshire Police interviewed the mum, she said that she didn't know her partner owned drugs. This suggested that it could have been a case of 'cuckooing'.
'Cuckooing' is when a criminal uses somebody else's home - normally, somebody that's facing difficulty in their life already - for drug dealing.
What happened next?
Unfortunately, we kept receiving reports of anti-social behaviour at the customer's home. The police believed organised crime members were still using the address.
So, we joined a strategy meeting with the police, housing, social services, education and health agencies. Here's what we agreed:
- We carried out monthly visits to the home.
- Cheshire Police went round regularly to visit the customer and make sure everything was okay.
- A family strategy was put into place.
- The mum agreed to monthly drug testing.
- The children's school agreed that if the mum was having a bad day and couldn't leave the house, school support staff would collect the children and take them to school.
The family received intensive support from the children's school, social services, the NHS, and ourselves. As a result, the children's attendance at school increased by 60% and their engagement with lessons improved too, as did personal hygiene for the family.
The mum stopped using drugs - as shown by continuous negative drug testing - and her confidence and outlook changed. She has had no further engagement with organised crime.
There have now been no reports of anti-social behaviour or crime for 12 months, ever since the strategy work was put into place.
All agencies involved have commented that the turnaround in this family in such a short period of time has shown that education and upskilling like this can help make sure parents can support their families with stable homes.
Thanks to the work of all these agencies, these children and their mother have a happy and safe home.
Need some support?
You can tell us about anti-social behaviour by emailing ASBprevention@peaksplains.org or you can fill out the form below.
If there's a problem in your neighbourhood, let us help.