Police praise public for help in snaring Winchester drug dealers

Police praise public for help in snaring Winchester drug dealers

Paul Smedley: 7 years

Matthew Finn: 30 months

First published in Winchester Romsey Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

TWO Winchester men have been jailed for drug dealing, following help from local people.

Paul Smedley, 34, and Matthew Finn, 24, both of Main Road, Otterbourne, were convicted of supplying crack cocaine and heroin.

Smedley was jailed for seven years following a trial at Winchester Crown Court and Finn, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was jailed for two years and six months.

Det Con Andy Spooner said: "I am extremely grateful to the local community for their help in bringing these two men to justice. We need members of the public to be our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious to us.

“The sentences given to these men should send out a clear message that drug dealers are not welcome in Winchester and those people involved will be dealt with appropriately, which could result in lengthy prison sentences.”

Hampshire-wide campaign Operation Fortress is dedicated to reducing drug-related violence in local communities by targeting drug suppliers.

Operation Fortress is a campaign involving police and other agencies to reduce the harm of drug-related violence. One of the aims is to restrict the supply of drugs and officers are keen to hear from anyone who is concerned about illegal drugs or drug-related crime in their neighbourhood.

The things to look out for are as follows:

• A sudden increase in visitors to a house or flat and people only staying for a very short time;

• Short exchanges between small groups of people at or close to a flat or house;

• Residents leaving a flat or house on numerous occasions throughout the day and returning a short time later;

• People loitering in an area and using their mobile phones frequently;

• New-looking or hire cars parked outside a house or flat that wouldn’t normally be there, and being driven by somebody that you wouldn’t normally associate with driving that style of car.

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