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Marcia Shakespeare warns of gun crime 'complacency'

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The mother of a teenager gunned down in a drive-by shooting has warned of “complacency” after funding was cut for her campaign to tackle violent crime. Marcia Shakespeare said she was “angry” the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s office had not renewed funding for part of her schools’ work.Ms Shakespeare, whose 17-year-old daughter Letisha died in 2003, said she had to “constantly fight” for support. The office said it valued her work and hoped to offer funding in the autumn. Ms Shakespeare, who was appointed MBE in 2016 for her work to combat gang, gun and knife crime, said such work must continue. “We can never ever forget that violent crime doesn’t go away,” she said.”The only thing violence creates is damage to everyone – to the victim as well as to the perpetrator.” Letisha died with her best friend Charlene Ellis, 18, when they were hit by a hail of gunfire as they stood outside a New Year’s Eve party in Aston.

PCC David Jamieson said in January a spike in gun crime was of “great concern”. The latest figures recorded by police in England and Wales suggest cases of homicide and knife crime are rising. But Ms Shakespeare who set up the Precious Trust charity in her daughter’s memory, said she had to fight “every single year” for funding for work in schools. The PCC’s office said the project did not get funding this time due to a “technicality”.Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Lynnette Kelly said: “We recognise the good work that she was doing and we want to work with her to try to make sure that when we launch the new money for guns and violence in the autumn that she will be able to access that fund.”
Source: BBC Black Country