Police say 35 drug dealers operating in the city have been jailed in the last year and a half.
Fresh Appeal Over Southampton Murder
Police investigating the murder of Agim Hoxha in Southampton have made a fresh appeal for help to find his killers.
The body of the 29-year-old from Cranbury Place was found in a burnt out Mercedes in Chilworth Drove, between 1am and 1.30am on Tuesday, April 10th.
Officers believe he was dead before the fire took hold.
Police are still trying to trace the Mercedes' movements and also that of a Ford Mondeo Zetec Tdci, in the days before Agim's murder.
Both vehicles belonged to Agim. From police investigations so far, officers believe a number of people may have been involved in Agim’s killing.
Anyone who thinks they saw the silver two door Mercedes C200 CDI registration "BW53FZH" or the dark grey Mondeo, registration "HY58HYL" over the Easter period is asked to get in contact with police.
Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Farrell who is leading the investigation said:
"There are a number of people we are trying to trace as part of our murder investigation who could be key witnesses. These people have been captured on CCTV, either walking along Shirley Road, or had vehicles parked in Shirley Road on the evening of the Easter Monday bank holiday, April 9, and into the early hours of Tuesday April 10.
"A Mercedes we believe belonged to the victim, Agim Hoxha, has also been captured on the same CCTV."
"At 11.20pm on Shirley Road, close to the junction of Malmesbury Road - a car, possibly a taxi is seen stopping. A group of people get out of the car, along with the car driver briefly. Was this you?
"At 11.30pm a pedestrian is seen walking along Shirley Road, passing by the fish and chip shop on the corner of this road and Malmesbury Road. This person continues along the road past the car wash in the direction of the city centre. The person is carrying two shopping type bags. Was this you?
"Just before 1am on Tuesday April 10, a Mercedes which again we believe was Agim's drives along the pavement from Malmesbury Road into Shirley Road. Did you see this?
"Just after 1am a Mercedes again drives along the pavement towards Malmesbury Road, and then heads off along that road. A dark coloured taxi is seen passing as the Mercedes drives along the pavement.
"Were you the taxi driver? Did you see the car driving along the pavement?
"All of these people are potentially key witnesses in this case but I would like to stress they are not suspects.
"It is therefore vitally important that if you are one of these people that you contact the police as a matter of urgency, as you are likely to hold significant information that will assist our investigation.
"I would additionally like to hear from anyone living in Wilton Road, Shirley who has seen either the Mondeo or the Mercedes parked in the area. We also believe these cars were often parked in the streets surrounding Wilton Road-have you noticed them at all?
"We are obviously gathering much more about Agim's life.
"We know he came to the UK from Albania with family, studied at college and worked hard in the building industry.
"However, what we have established that more recently Agim had unfortunately become involved in drugs and we are exploring this as a motive for his murder. I really must emphasis Agim was committed to his family, he was popular with friends and he was not known as a violent person. The murder of this young man and the way his body was set on fire is a terrible crime.
"He did not deserve what happened to him. His family have been robbed of a loving son and are clearly devastated.
There will be people who have information about Agim, the motive for this crime and of Agim's involvement with drugs.
"I am appealing to those people to come forward with information. People can contact us directly or give information anonymously
via Crimestoppers "
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Operation Wedgewood team on 101
You can also call the charity Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.
The following is released on behalf of Agim's family:
''Agim was a loving and honest person to everyone that knew him.
Despite what Agim might have got involved in the last months before his death, he didn't deserve to die in terrible circumstances like he did. We are still shocked and would urge anyone with information to come forward and put his killer/s to justice.''
Afrin Lleshi, 36, of Shirley Road, Southampton has already been charged with perverting the course of justice.
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