Teenager shot dead in UK 'gun capital'

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A 14-year-old girl was shot dead early yesterday as she was walking home from a funfair in Nottingham. Danielle Beccan was wounded several times just after midnight by shots fired from a passing car.

A 14-year-old girl was shot dead early yesterday as she was walking home from a funfair in Nottingham. Danielle Beccan was wounded several times just after midnight by shots fired from a passing car.

The teenager, who had been attending the city's annual Goose Fair, was taken to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre. She underwent an emergency operation but was later pronounced dead.

Danielle was just yards from her home when the shooting took place. Sue Fish, Assistant Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire police, described the killing as "a truly wicked and callous crime".

Ms Fish said that stop and searches would be conducted throughout the weekend. A forensic examination is being carried out, as are door-to-door inquiries.

Nottingham is gaining a reputation as the gun capital of Britain. The region's Chief Constable, Steve Green, has previously claimed his force is being swamped by gun and drug crime. Last year there was on average one shooting every week in the county.

In October 2003 Marian Bates, 64, was shot dead during a raid on her jewellery store. Earlier this year, a middle-aged couple, John and Joan Stirland, were shot dead in a suspected revenge killing.

Ms Fish denied claims that parts of Nottingham were becoming no-go areas. "This is the first shooting in the city for a number of months now. That does not make what happened this morning any better," she said. "We will work tirelessly to bring these people to justice."