On Monday May 25th a man was fatally wounded in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market area in a possible shooting incident. The 27-year-old was found injured in an alley close to the Pitcher and Piano pub and was treated by paramedics, but died on the way to hospital.
It is believed that the shooting took place on the upper floor of the recently opened Paris nightclub, and the victim made his way towards the Pitcher and Piano before being discovered. Police were called at 2am and have begun a murder investigation, cordoning off High Pavement, Weekday Cross, Pilcher Gate and St. Mary’s Gate as forensic investigators probed the area.
Local resident Alan Simpson MP was surprised by the fatality, stating that “Our family home is there and I would never say I felt unsafe.” He revealed a “sense of disbelief about the severity of the incident that took place”.
While it was not officially confirmed that the incident had involved a shooting, local residents claimed to have heard gunfire, and one unnamed 18-year-old said “I got into my block and I heard four shots.”
The ‘incident’ will come as unwelcome news to Nottinghamshire Police, after recent revelations that the force has missed 75% of its key performance targets in 2008/09- Including robberies, house burglaries and the most serious of violence. They did, however, hit targets for life threatening and gun crime, with the Chair of the Notts Police Authority performance committee noting that the force had “come a long way”. He did concede that “we have struggled for some time” when compared to similar forces such as Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
While these events will undoubtedly bring the ‘Shottingham’ moniker back into the public eye – an issue discussed in a recent Impact feature – progress seems to have been made since the fatal shooting of schoolgirl Danielle Beccan in 2004, a shooting seen as a watershed in the battle against gun crime in Nottingham. While in 2004 there was gunfire in Nottingham almost once a week, in 2005 guns were fired on 11 occasions – a fall of 74%.
Whilst Nottinghamshire Police struggles to improve its record on issues such as burglary and robbery, they can only hope that this was an isolated incident and that recent progress on gun crime has not been compromised.
Anyone with any information or who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 0115 844 5017 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.