A HALTWHISTLE heroin dealer has been jailed.

Following information from the public that Robert Keen was involved in drug dealing, the 38-year-old was pulled over by a member of the Hexham Neighbourhood Policing Team during patrols in September 2020.

After searching Keen's vehicle and address on Capel Avenue, officers found stashes of heroin throughout his house - including hidden in a vase - and a mobile phone with messages linked to drug supply.

His phone showed that in the eight days leading up to his arrest, three people had made requests to buy drugs.

Keen was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and intent to supply.

This week, at Newcastle Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to the charges and he was sentenced to 27 months behind bars.

Northumbria Police’s Inspector Garry Neill, who leads the Hexham NPT, has welcomed the sentence.

He said: “I want to thank the member of the public who reported their suspicions that Keen was dealing. That vital information has ultimately led to a drug dealer being placed behind bars and taken out the community they sought to tarnish with drug supply.

“I also want to say a special thanks to the PC who led the job for his proactivity and responding to the community concerns – his work made sure Keen was unable to escape justice that day.”

He added: “Drug supply has no place in our communities, and we will work tirelessly to protect the wider public from the ripple effects of drug supply.

“If you suspect drug supply is taking place in your community please reach out to us by calling 101, visiting our website and filling out a ‘Tell us Something’ form or speaking to a member of your NPT on patrol.

“We will never reveal the source of our information to suspects and your information could go a long way in making your community a happier, healthier and safer place for all.”