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Published: 29 January 2009

Sharma’arke Hassan
Police release CCTV footage of murder

New Journal shown exclusive images as police battle ‘snitch culture’ in hunt for killer

DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a 17-year-old in Camden Town have released CCTV footage taken in the moments before his shooting in an effort to break the culture of silence among teenage gangs.
Sharma’arke Hassan, from Agar Grove, was shot once in the head on the canal-path in Gilbey’s Yard on May 24 last year, dying four days later at the Royal Free Hospital.
The detectives investigating the murder have clear CCTV images of two men walking up Oval Road and turning into Gilbey’s Yard in the moments before the shooting.
Detective Inspector Dave Rock said: “The top that one of them is wearing is quite distinctive, especially if the detail that you can see on it is a maple leaf and it is a hockey top. Anyone who was in possession of such a top at the time should certainly come forward. But any mother in the Camden area whose son, or whose son’s friend, had a top like that should think: Someone else’s son ended up on the slab.”
The case is being investigated by Operation Trident, the Met’s specialist unit for dealing with gun crime in the black community.
Releasing the images to the New Journal, DI Rock said: “In situations like this we do face an environment where people are reticent about coming forward to help. We are dealing with the culture of the ‘snitch’.”
Trident officers have visited two secondary schools in Camden and one in Islington to, as DI Rock said, “give presentations about this job in particular and about gun crime in general – it was an attempt to enlist new witnesses to come forward”.
Trident, with its experience of dealing with Yardie gang killings, can offer “anonymity and special measures in court,” he added.
Sharma’arke Hassan, whose parents fled Somalia when he was one and who was a student at Acland Burghley school, was shot with a 9mm weapon, probably a pistol. The bullet lodged in his brain, causing his death four days later. Although police have recovered ballistic evidence, the gun has not been found.
Anyone with information should call the Trident incident room on 020 87334640 or crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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