Four suspected drug dealers were arrested at an address in Brighton on successive days, Sussex Police said.
The force said: “Police carrying out welfare checks on a vulnerable man in Brighton have arrested three men and one woman on suspicion of supplying drugs over two days.
“Officers visited a property in High Street on Thursday (27 January) as part of Operation Cuckoo, which involves checks on vulnerable people deemed to be at risk of exploitation and ‘cuckooing’ – the practice of drug dealers using the homes of vulnerable people as a base from which to supply drugs.
“A smell of cannabis was detected on arrival and three people who were not believed to be residents of the property were found in one of the bedrooms.
“Searches found all three were in possession of class A drugs and/or items linked to the supply of illegal drugs.
“Two men from London, aged 22 and 33, and a 19-year-old woman of no fixed address, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drug and released on conditional bail.
“The following day (Friday 28 January), at around 7.30pm, officers visited the address again after a concerned member of the public reported suspicious people at the property.
“An 18-year-old man, from Chichester, was caught by officers after attempting to escape out of a rear window and arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs.”
Sergeant Peter Marshall, of Brighton and Hove’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The illegal drug trade goes hand in hand with violence and the exploitation of vulnerable people.
“Cuckooing has a devastating impact on the lives of victims, whose homes are taken over by drug dealers often through the manipulation of substance abuse issues or with the threat of violence.
“We will continue to work with our partners in the community to identify people who are at risk of this crime, put measures in place to keep them safe and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“As always, the public reporting their concerns is an essential part of that process, and we would ask anybody with suspicions to get in touch via the Sussex Police website or by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.”