NSW joins cross-border crackdown on gang crime

22 November 2013 3:26 AM

74 0

NSW joins cross-border crackdown on gang crime

By state political reporter Sarah Gerathy and Thomas Oriti

The New South Wales and Federal Governments have announced a joint strike team to fight gang crime in the state, as part of a cross-border anti-gangs squad.

The team consists of officers from New South Wales Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office.

They will then then work together with state squads targeting organised crime, and other similar strike teams that have been set up in other states.

The state's Police Minister, Mike Gallacher, says the team has the potential to cripple the ability of crime gangs to work across across borders.

"They're now starting to see this organised approach, with our policing agencies across the country now coming together.

"They thought that they had that as their exclusive domain, their ability to work across borders."

Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, says the team represents an "unprecedented level of national co-operation".

"The strike team will give the New South Wales Police Force access to Commonwealth criminal intelligence across all our agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, customs, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection," he said.

Strike teams have already been established in Victoria and Queensland, and liaison officers are working in Western Australia and South Australia.

The Minister says the Government is keen to expand its unexplained wealth laws, "to take away the money that criminals make from crime".

Five-year mandatory sentences for the illegal importation of a firearm will also be put into place.

Mr Keenan says the sentences will send "the strongest possible message that we will not tolerate gun crime".

New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says the next logical step is national anti gangs laws.

"The reality is if we want to go the full nine yards with organised crime, we need to go as a nation, one team," he said.

Commissioner Scipione says the team will help officers get a "chokehold" on organised crime.

"Crime gangs really, in their various iterations, all have one aim and one goal, and that is to make money," he said.

"That's why for us to attack them, to actually take them on, we need to actually go after the money.

"It's not until we do that we will start to really make a very big hit in what we all see as being so abhorrent."

The announcement comes after police in Sydney seized three guns and more than 2000 rounds of ammunition from a member of the Hells Angels bikie gang.

Police inspected a number of guns registered to a 33-year-old man at a home in Cartwright in the city's west yesterday afternoon.

When the alleged Hells Angels associate said he had loaned them to a friend, officers suspended his firearm licence and took his guns.

Detectives from Strike Force Raptor are still trying to find the two missing rifles.

Source: abc.net.au

To category page