ACT Policing has extended the Illicit Firearms Rewards campaign, which launched on October 9 last year, to 30 April 2014.
Last year ACT Policing with the support of the ACT Government and ACT Crime Stoppers launched the Illicit Firearms Rewards campaign, offering public reward payments of up to $5000 for information leading to the seizure of illicit firearms or a successful prosecution for firearm related crime.
Since the launch ACT Policing has executed 20 search warrants, resulting in the seizure of 12 operational firearms, eight replica firearms and approximately 2600 rounds of assorted ammunition.
It has also lead to the seizure of several prohibited weapons including an electrical incapacitant, knuckle dusters, nunchucks, a three-bladed throwing knife and a stolen motor vehicle. Other seizures have included cannabis, Methylamphetamine, steroids, laptops and stolen tools.
Seven people have been summonsed to court and three people have been arrested and charged with weapons-related offences. In addition, reports have boosted police intelligence about firearms related crime in the ACT.
The offences identified during this campaign are as follows:
— Unauthorised possession of prohibited firearms
— Unauthorised possession of firearms
— Unauthorised possession of prohibited article
— Possess offensive weapon
— Property damage
— Stolen motor vehicle
— Possession of methylamphetamine
— Possession of Cannabis
— Unauthorised possession of ammunition
— Unlawful possession
While ACT Policing has not received any claims for reward to date, Acting Chief Police Officer David Pryce believes the campaign is having a significant effect on illicit gun crime in the ACT and helping to make the ACT hostile to criminals.
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“We’ve had a tremendous response from the public so far. It’s clear the Canberra community won’t tolerate illicit firearms endangering their safety or being used to commit serious crimes. And with the support of community information via Crime Stoppers reports, ACT Policing is doing all it can to remove illicit firearms from the hands of criminals and prevent gun-related crimes from occurring.”
“The rewards campaign has effectively made the ACT a hostile environment for criminals who might resort to the use or possession of firearms”, Acting Chief Police Officer Pryce said.
“The criminal use of firearms is often strongly linked to other crime types, including illicit drugs and violence. The flow-on effect from targeting these criminals is the detection and prevention of other serious criminal acts.”
Anyone who has information about an illicit firearm or suspects someone is involved in the criminal use or possession of a firearm is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via its website: www.act.crimestoppers.com.au
Reports to Crime Stoppers can be provided anonymously.
Eligibility for members of the public to claim up to $5000 monetary reward for information will cease on 30 April 2014.
Further information about the illicit firearm rewards strategy can be found via the ACT Policing website www.police.act.gov.au