The murder of Sharmaarke Hassan, a 17-year-old member of the Money Squad, has highlighted the conflict in the streets of Camden Town, which is renowned for its vibrant music and nightclub scene. He is the 15th teenager to die violently in London this year.
The Somali youth had been ambushed by three people in the Gilbey’s Yard estate overlooking the Regent’s Canal on Saturday night and died as a result of his injuries on Wednesday. Residents said that he had been sitting on a bench used as a “hangout” for drug dealers from nearby Camden High Street and King’s Cross.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested last night on suspicion of murder. Scotland Yard said that he was being held at a North London police station.
The area’s pubs and clubs are frequented by a group of celebrities that includes Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty, Peaches Geldof and Daisy Lowe.
Although Sharmaarke Hassan was just a “runner” for the Money Squad, the most junior member of the gang, he was already a convicted criminal and well known to local police.
Last month he was found guilty at Thames Youth Court of possessing cannabis and offering to supply the drug. He was sentenced to 40 hours’ community service. In February he was convicted of threatening unlawful violence and of breaching an antisocial behaviour order for the second time. Two months earlier he was convicted of stealing a £2,000 Cartier watch and breaching the terms of his ASBO at the same court. He was charged with affray in September but the case was dropped.
This month the police started court action to impose ASBOs against 14 members of the Money Squad. They are seeking to ban the youths from Camden, prevent them from meeting more than five of their listed friends and prohibiting them from harassing or distressing anyone for three years.