ACT Policing has today (Monday, June 16) launched its support of the Australia New Zealand Police Advisory Agency’s (ANZPAA) two-week national campaign called Operation Unification ‘Illegal Guns off our Streets’ which aims to get illicit firearms out of the hands of criminals.
ACT Policing Acting Chief Police Officer, David Pryce said while the number of offences where guns are used to commit crimes has fallen in the ACT, the use and distribution of illicit firearms is an Australia-wide issue.
“We are unified in this operation because this type of crime does not operate within borders,” A/CPO Pryce said.
“Police are working together across Australia to get ‘illicit firearms off our streets’ but we need the help from the community.”
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“We are pleased to be joining forces with Crime Stoppers to urge members of our community to provide information about people they may know or suspect have illicit firearms in their possession. Information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers.”
Chair of the ANZPAA Crime Forum, Stephen Fontana said that during the last nationwide operation police seized 110 illicit firearms from criminals.
“Each of these guns could have potentially been used to seriously hurt or kill innocent victims. Guns are a menace within the community. It’s time we each took responsibility for getting them out of the hands of criminals,” Fontana said.
“People with illicit firearms know that they are illegal. Their friends, families and neighbours know that they are illegal. The culture of silence in those communities is leading to deadly results. As we have seen with several shootings around the country in recent times, the threat to the community is enormous. Many criminals have no regard for public safety, and it is a miracle no innocent victims have been caught in the cross fire from some of the recent shootings we have seen.”
Police and Crime Stoppers are calling on the community to once again provide information about illicit firearms anonymously by calling the Crime Stoppers confidential hotline on 1800 333 000 or by using the online service at www.crimestoppers.com.au
“Evidence shows that illicit firearms are mostly used in serious and violent crimes against innocent victims. Public co-operation is critical to the operation’s success – even the smallest piece of information is invaluable,” Bryan Roach, Chairman of Crime Stoppers Australia said.
(ACT Policing media release)