Suspected drug dealing operation outside Hampshire library is foiled by police

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PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

Police speak to school after fight in Southsea play park

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POLICE have broken up a suspected drug dealing operation outside a Hampshire library.

A total of six people have been arrested after Hampshire Constabulary’s five-day operation Fortress campaign targeting those suspected of drug dealing in the county.

The effort was run from Monday, April 4, in Winchester.

Officers searched 14 people across the city, resulting in five arrests – including two outside the city’s library.

Explaining the action, Chief Inspector Claire Taylor said: ‘One of our aims is to make life as unpleasant as possible for those people suspected of being involved in drug dealing and crimes linked to drugs.’

On Monday, April 4 two men were seen acting suspiciously around Winchester’s library.

A 15 year-old boy from London was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

While an 18-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug of class A and money laundering.

They have been bailed until June 7 pending further enquiries.

On Friday, March 8 four people were arrested in Water Lane, Winchester on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

A 16-year-old boy from London, a 24-year-old man from London, a 19-year-old man from London and a 23-year-old man from Middlesex have been bailed until June 6 and 7 pending further enquiries.

Chief Insp Taylor added: ‘These days of action saw officers from Winchester District out and about in the city disrupting those suspecting of being involved in the supply of class A drugs.

‘We’re committed to freeing our communities of drugs and the misery drugs bring and we will continue carrying out these types of operations.

‘If you have any information about drugs in your community, please contact us; the more we know, the more we can do about it.’

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 narcotics 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.

Those with any concerns should call police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.