Home Takeover Animations Launched

A cross-partnership project has produced two animations on home takeover (sometimes referred to as home invasion or cuckooing). The animations are a joint effort across the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board, The Newcastle Safeguarding Children Partnership and the Safe Newcastle Board, as well as input from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle. There are two versions of the animations, one aimed at professionals and one aimed at young people (to be used in schools, Year 7 and above).

Professionals version

Young people/education version

Recently published research about exploitation during the Covid pandemic, undertaken by the University of Northumbria, identified a lack of awareness of what home takeover was and what it involved. This was the main catalyst for the production of the animations which it is hoped will be used to increase understanding of the issue and how people can be supported.

Cllr Karen Kilgour, Cabinet Member for a Healthy, Caring City and Deputy Leader, Newcastle City Council said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in this project for their support in raising awareness of this, often hidden, abuse of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. We are committed to eradicating this type of behaviour and this latest project is a great example of how partnership working brings together a wide range of knowledge and experience to tackle key issues in an effective way.” 

Cllr Paula Maines, Cabinet Member for a Resilient City, Newcastle City Council said: “There is no excuse for abuse of any sort, and it is a key priority for us that everyone can live in safety and without fear. I am proud that we are continuing to work proactively with our partners to prevent this type of activity in our city and would encourage anyone with concerns to contact the relevant agency.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “We must do everything we can to protect and support vulnerable people in our communities – anyone who is being taken advantage of, exploited, or abused. This can look very different for different people but can leave a victim feeling threatened and scared in their own home. Increasing awareness of how exploiters hook their victims in and take over their homes is so important. It helps people understand what is happening to them or those around them, and crucially, how to get help.”

How to use the animations

Version for professionals

  • Cascade within organisations e.g. add to shared resources, share on intranet, staff news.
  • Use to prompt discussions in team meetings or staff supervision.
  • Add to existing training content e.g. core safeguarding training.
  • Use on screens in waiting rooms/offices.

Version for young people

  • Public Health are developing lesson plans for use in schools, with roll-out being supported by the School Improvement Team. Schools will be contacted directly about this.

Launch Webinars

Webinars will be used to launch the animations and offer support and advice on how they can be used to cascade key messages within your organisations. If you would like to book onto a webinar, please complete this booking form.

5th February 2024, 10-11am
1st March 2024, 12-1pm
20th March 2024, 1.30-2.30pm
26th March 2024, 6-7pm (NEW DATE)

Report a home takeover concern

If you have a concern this can be reported via a number of different organisations who will work with the relevant agencies to ensure the safety of those at risk. 

  • 999 if a crime is happening now or someone is in immediate danger. 
  • Telephone 101 or make an online report for all other concerns.

Crimestoppers (give information 100% anonymously)

  • Telephone 0800 555 111 or give information online 

Fearless (Crimestoppers reporting for 11-16 year olds)

  • Telephone 0800 555 111 or online

Via safeguarding children or adult procedures or make a multi-agency referral

Trusted adult/professional 

The partnerships would like to place on record their thanks to the Project Group who worked alongside CC Animation Studios. The Group had representatives from Newcastle City Council (Adult Social Care and Public Health), North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, Northumbria Police, Northumbria University and Your Homes Newcastle.

Find out more about home takeover and exploitation in Newcastle here