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Hackney politicians call for urgent review of gun prevention policy after shooting of 15-year-old Shereka Marsh

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:06 26 March 2014

Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh

Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh

Archant

Politicians have called for an urgent review on gun prevention policy after the fatal shooting of a promising 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Popular teenager Shereka Marsh died from a bullet wound to the neck at 4pm on Saturday during a gathering with friends at a house in Eastway, Hackney Wick.

The prefect at Urswick School in Paragon Road, Hackney Central, who had been shopping earlier that day at Westfield in Stratford, was pronounced dead at the scene despite “extensive efforts” to resuscitate her. A 15-year-old boy has been charged with her murder

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, said: “Children killing children has to stop. This is a reminder of why we must work to keep guns off our streets.

Speaking on behalf of Shereka’s family, she said: “Shereka was a responsible, hard-working young woman with so much to look forward to. She was not involved in gangs or violence. She did not drink or take drugs. Her mother always knew where she was.

Ms Hillier added: “The death of Shereka is a tragedy for her family. For a mother to lose a child is too awful for words to express and for Shereka to be killed at the prime of her life is such a waste.

Just two weeks ago, Shereka was one of four pupils chosen to show the Jamaican High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet-Assamba around her school.

Cllr Patrick Vernon OBE, of Queensbridge Ward, who organised the visit, said: “I had the privilege of meeting Shereka and learning about her goals and aspirations. This is a waste of young life which is deeply affecting the school and community in Hackney.

“There are fundamental questions that need to asked such as why are teenage boys in possessions of armed weapons? Who supplied them and is this linked to a wider issue of gang criminality?

“Although initially I supported the Met approach in changing the remit of Operation Trident to encompass wider issues around gangs and knives, I am now of the opinion the Met now needs to rethink its strategy as a result of the death of Shereka.

“In addition, more preventative work is required in Hackney working young people and families to break this cycle of violence and behaviour. This ultimately requires investment in time, resources and community/political leadership.

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe also issued a statement, saying: “This incident has sent shockwaves through the community in Hackney and we are working to support pupils and staff at Urswick, where Shereka was a much valued member of the school.

“This has highlighted once again the danger that firearms pose to society; put simply, guns ruin lives.”


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