Skip to comments.Islamic leaders join war on guns
Posted on 01/29/2013 9:13:08 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
HUNDREDS of NSW police officers have mounted a series of aggressive raids across western Sydney over the past five days, marking a dramatic shift in the force's response to the city's escalating gun violence.
For the first time, senior police say, Sydney's Islamic leaders are co-operating with their investigations, but they warn more help is needed or the community risks losing one of its children to the shootings.
While the violence has seen six men shot dead in the past four months, detectives fear a possible escalation through the use of more powerful, military-grade weapons or homemade bombs.
Earlier this month, Julia Gillard appointed Justice Minister Jason Clare to lead the government's response. The Australian understands he has asked NSW police what they need, including legislative change, to end the violence.
The recent raids, which included officers from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad and the anti-bikie Strike Force Raptor, targeted individuals thought to be involved in both the shootings and the city's illegal firearms trade. Thirty-five guns were seized and hundreds of people and vehicles were searched during the operation, in which police acted on intelligence gathered, in part, from Islamic community leaders.
In a tactical shift away from the previous model of responding to individual shootings, the operation is a prototype for a series of rolling raids aimed at disrupting the gun distribution networks in western Sydney.
NSW Police acting Organised Crime director Arthur Katsogiannis said it was vital the city's Middle Eastern community broke down the "wall of silence" surrounding the recent crimes. "They know who's got the guns, they know who's using them and concealing them," he said. "We need their co-operation to stop that because it could be their son or daughter who is shot.
"If you want to stand back as a community and allow these people to use guns, then you are going to suffer the consequences."
An evolution in police tactics was also necessary, Mr Katsogiannis said, because former NSW Police officers were known to have been working with criminal networks involved in the supply of drugs and guns. "What their information and experience brings obviously impacts on our methodology, because they're aware of it and they pass that knowledge on," he said. "So we can't rely on what we've done in the past."
Figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show the number of shootings in Sydney jumped more than 50 per cent in 2011, to 165, after falling for each of the previous four years.
NSW Police say there have been fewer shootings during the past 12 months, but still an average of more than two a week.
Mr Clare, whose Blaxland electorate is in western Sydney, said NSW Police were doing a "great job, but it is obvious more needs to be done". "I have got constituents with their streets being shot up while they are laying in bed or their kids are doing their homework," Mr Clare said. "What we need is national anti-gang laws that give police more power to lock up serious criminals."
Keysar Trad, of the Sydney-based Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, questioned the call for greater co-operation with police. "This is a policing matter. I don't know who has got the guns and that would go for most of the community," he said.
Thought guns were illegal in Australia....
No, they’re not. There are millions of legally held guns in private hands in Australia. There are some restrictive laws to be navigated, but it can be done - it’s quite easy for basic longarms, anything more than that gets progressively more complicated.
Maybe Rahmbo Emanuel can move to Sydney and fix things, like he’s doing in Chicago...
In other words, the gangsters are supporting the Sullivan Act.
As their ilk always does..
Not to worry, they have plenty of rocks.
Automatic boomerangs are still legal...