POLICE have called for 'calm' in the community and on social media after the death of a 12-year-old who drowned in Bury. 

Shukri Abdi drowned in the River Irwell, near Dunster Street, on June 27 — five weeks before her 13th birthday.

An ongoing police investigation has found there is currently “nothing to suggest that bullying led directly to her death.”

Det Insp Andrew Naismith, of Greater Manchester Police’s Bury district, and the senior police officer leading the investigation, has called for 'calm' amid 'serious accusations' being made against the four children who were with Shukri at the time of her death.

An inquest opening at Heywood Coroner’s Court this morning was attended by Shukri’s mother Zamzam Ture, as well as other family members and friends. Ms Ture previously described Shukri as a “quiet girl” who was “so happy and so focussed on her future.”

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Family members have claimed that Shukri was being bullied at Broad Oak Sports College in Hazel Avenue, where she was a pupil. Campaigners also claim her death is suspicious, particularly because she could not swim.

Senior Coroner for Greater Manchester North, Joanne Kearsley said at the inquest: “There has been widespread reporting of potential bullying accusations. There is currently an ongoing review by the school and the outcome of their investigation will be made available to the police.”

In the wake of the incident, a petition was launched calling for a “full and transparent investigation”, which has been signed by more than 54,000 people. A major protest was staged outside Broad Oak on Friday afternoon, with hundreds of parents calling for “justice for Shukri.”

Shukri was the eldest of Ms Ture’s five children, the family having moved to Bury in 2017 from a refugee camp in Kenya. Originally from Somalia, Ms Ture had fled to the camp due to violence in her homeland.

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Zamzam Ture

Oak Learning Partnership Multi Academy Trust, which Broad Oak became part of in April this year, are reviewing their bullying policy and other procedures relating to the welfare of children at Broad Oak.

A meeting of school and police representatives as well as family members, is due to be held this afternoon.

The inquest heard that, on the afternoon of June 27, Shukri left school with four other children, all of whom have since been interviewed by police.

“They all went down to the water to play that evening after school”, said Det Insp Naismith. “Unfortunately, Shukri got into difficulty, went into the deep end of the water, and unfortunately she has drowned.

“The investigation is still ongoing and we are talking to a number of people but at this stage, there is nothing to suggest there is anything related to third-party involvement, or bullying or coercion in relation to getting Shukri down to the river.”

He emphasised that there is an ongoing police investigation which is hoped to be concluded within the next four to six weeks.

CCTV footage is currently being reviewed by officers, however Det Insp Naismith said that there is no CCTV from the river or the path leading to the river.

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Police told the inquest hearing they had received two calls about the incident on June 27 – one from Shukri’s mother reporting her daughter missing at about 8pm.

They later received a second call, from “the friends” who had been with Shukri, alerting them to the fact that the 12-year-old girl was in the water.
Fire crews, police and ambulances attended.

Det Insp Naismith, said: “It was quite clear quite quickly that Shukri had been in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.

“A rescue mission was launched by the emergency services. However, unfortunately, Shukri was recovered at 11.27pm and pronounced dead at 11.54pm.

“The family were informed and I then launched a full-scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.”

He added: “I would like to offer my condolences to the family. I know this is a difficult time but I would also like to ask that there is some calm on social media and in the community.

“There were four other children involved in this from four very difficult backgrounds who are clearly having some very serious accusations pointed at them.”

The inquest has been adjourned until December 9 this year.