• County Lines

The Car

My flat had been taken over by a gang of drug dealers. 6 men in total plus their friends in and out all the time. By this point I had not been out since the end of February.

A set of keys had been copied so they could gain entry freely. I couldn’t believe how naive I had been, especially not realising what was happening right underneath my damn nose.

I had researched ‘cuckooing’ and learned that most victims were paid to comply by way of free drugs. I was not being paid, I never complied, I lost over 3 stone in 3 months with lack of sleep, anxiety, fear, malnutrition, and the exertion of spending every minute of every hour begging and pleading with them to leave. They had my flat, a set of keys, access to my bank accounts; both online and my debit cards and then they informed me they needed a car. That by having the use of a car, would go some way to lessen their need to use my flat. I had asked my friend if she would tip the police off about my situation in a desperate attempt to get help. She never did it. So I turned to Crime stoppers and filled out an online form with intricate details which I submitted, yet nothing came of it. I became more frantic when everyone known to man with connections to drugs we’re being raided. I prayed my flat would be next -but nothing. So I submitted another detailed report to Crimestoppers this time identifying myself and asking for intervention. Nothing. A car was found by a member of the gang and I believe it was around the start of May. I was told to cough up the money and one of the group proceeded to go and buy it. He gave me one set of keys and being the naive idiot I am I never realised you got 2 sets when you bought a car. So I scrabbled around for yet more money to tax and insure it confident with the knowledge that I had the keys and maybe this wasn’t some set-up with an ulterior motive like I suspected. Yet I never drove the car once. Once the insurance was dealt with there was the option to add named drivers. I refused outright. But again, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. However, to add a named driver I needed that person’s name, driving license number and date of birth which they were unwilling to give me. I did not know this single one of these guys names. So they took over and used to be online form filling service for the insurance company to add themselves. I was at a loss with what to do until the car was seized by the police no more than a week later for one of the members of the group driving the car was flagged up uninsured. I couldn’t have been more happy, until he took us to the police station with the insurance documents id emailed him at the time of taking out the policy, to have the car released by proving the police were at fault and in actual fact he was a named driver. To my utter relief the police officer took our driving licences and the insurance documents went off somewhere and came back sometime later stating that we were both insured on the car. It cost £170 to release the car, £170 that I had to pay. The next day I was informed by one of the group that they had taken the car keys without my knowledge, gone for a drive and the car had broke down. He told me he had left it on the side of the road and I asked him the location so I could reclaim the vehicle. But he told me it was a piece of shit and he had binned it overnight. To my delight the day after that, he received an email from the officer who had seized the vehicle stating that he was not insured to drive it. But to my horror when I refused to co-operate with regards to liaising with the officer and somehow finding a solution to the issue so that he would not get 6 points on his licence and taken to court, I was told that in that case I should remember that I have let criminal activity take place at my flat and as a result of that, have stacked up offences against my name on top. So “for my own sake I should really figure the situation out so it all gets resolved before he is summonsed to court”. Then two days ago I get a request for the documents to the car. A man was invited into my flat whereupon he threatened me to hand over all the documents. I was confused and explain that the car did not exist it had broken down I don’t know where and was scrapped. He told me he had just bought the car off his friend. I was given a reference number when insuring and taxing the car which was legitimate but my attempts at getting my hands on the log book and registration certificate never succeeded and I never had the money to have new ones issued. Therefore I had no documents to give him. I finally broke this morning and submitted an online report to Cambridgeshire Police stating that my vehicle had been stolen. They had obviously not received any tip-off from my friend or the reports I submitted to crime stoppers and it was, in my view, an opportunity to get help without ending up dead for snitching…

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