1st Edition

Cuckoo Land The Cuckooing Risk Environment

By Jack Spicer Copyright 2025
    114 Pages
    by Routledge

    Drawing on rich qualitative data, this book presents a novel way of understanding the drug market-related harm of ‘cuckooing’, providing a theoretically informed account of this increasingly high-profile area.

    Applying the framework of the ‘risk environment’, the book examines why people become cuckooed, how it is responded to and how this exploitative practice is socially produced. In doing so, a diverse range of environments and features relevant to cuckooing are analysed, including the role of housing, political economy, drug policy, policing and social exclusion. By interrogating how these constrain and enable the actions of people who are affected, the book develops a critical analysis that recognises the complexity of cuckooing while eschewing superficial explanations of why it occurs. Resisting simplistic solutions, it also considers what an enabling environment capable of reducing the harms of this exploitative practice might look like.

    Cuckoo Land will be of interest to academic researchers in the fields of criminology, victimology, social work and drugs. It will also be essential reading for policymakers and practitioners working on the issue of cuckooing.

    1. Introduction


    2. Cuckooing and the Economic Environment


    3. The Spaces and Places of Cuckooing


    4. Cuckooing and Drug Policy Choices


    5. Policing the Cuckooing Risk Environment


    6. The Social Environment of Cuckooing


    7. Towards an Enabling Environment for Reducing Cuckooing


    Jack Spicer is a lecturer in criminology at the University of Bath.

    "Cuckooing' is a complex problem that presents significant challenges for those involved in policy and practice. In this book, Spicer, an expert on drugs policing and county lines drug supply, draws on original empirical research to provide an innovative analysis of cuckooing through the public health-oriented conceptual framework of the 'risk environment'. It is an important inter-disciplinary contribution that should be read by everyone who wants to deepen their understanding of cuckooing and how to reduce drug market-related harms." - Dr Matthew Bacon, The University of Sheffield