Crime Files Network

Another night,

another Sydney shooting

February 15, 2011

Sydney isn’t a crime capital like New York or Los Angeles, despite a recent spike in gang-related crime, says NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

He said it was important for people on the ”periphery” of shootings to come forward to help investigators, ABC Online reported.

”These crimes are not random attacks,” Mr Scipione said. ”Generally they’re targeted and so they will always stay silent.”

Police inspect a van which was shot at overnight in Leppington.
Police inspect a van which was shot at overnight in Leppington. Photo: Nick Moir

Mr Scipione has complained about a “wall of silence” in the aftermath of such shootings. But appeals for witnesses today have so far produced no response, according to a police spokeswoman.

Mr Scipione said the “violent criminals” involved in recent shootouts represented only a small percentage of the community.

It also was important to remember that the state’s gun crime trends had been falling over the past 10 years, and when such incidents did occur it was over drugs, personal matters or to do with organised crime, he said.

There were 513 crimes involving a type of gun in the year to September 2010 compared to 1128 offences in 2004.

“This isn’t a place like Los Angeles or New York, if you look at the gun crimes, the number of homicides in those place,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

But Mr Scipione said he was worried about Sydney’s recent shootings.

“My greatest concern is the propensity of organised crime to rely on the use of a firearm to resolve an issue seems to be increasing,” he said, adding that criminals were getting their hands on guns by stealing them.

The guns were then recycled through the “criminal fraternity” and police were tracking them, he said.

NSW Police Minister Michael Daley described the shooting at Old Guildford in western Sydney on Sunday night as targeted, and said the victims had refused to co-operate with police.

It is believed that up to eight men were involved in a fight at The Promenade, Old Guildford about 8.20pm (AEDT).

One of three men injured in the shooting is believed to be a member of the Ibrahim family.

In the latest shooting on Tuesday, a 39-year-old man was shot in the stomach at Leppington when a van he was sitting in was sprayed with bullets.

Police are once again urging the community to dob in criminals or at least tell them where their guns can be found.

But NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell said today that Labor government was not facing up to the growing crime problem in Sydney.

“The premier, the minister for police reciting crime stats, suggesting that there is no problem whilst on the streets of western Sydney, people are being shot at,” Mr O’Farrell told reporters in Sydney today.

“It’s unreal, it doesn’t reflect what’s happening in western Sydney.

“If you can’t admit to a problem you will never fix it.”

His comments follow a series of shootings in Sydney’s west and southwest in recent days.

Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher said the creation of a six-person police strike force to deal with the problem was inadequate.

The latest inicident came when a man was shot in the back of a van in Sydney’s south-west early today.

Three men were in the van at the intersection of Cowpasture Road and Camden Valley Way, Leppington, about 1.15am today, when shots were fired into the vehicle, police said.

A 40-year-old man was hit in the abdomen.

The men drove the van to nearby Heath Road, Liverpool duty officer Inspector Greg Tetley said.

“The victims drove there, just away from where the shooting was, to seek refuge.

“They just tried to get away from there and they just stopped … and called the police.”

The injured man was taken to hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

The other men in the van were not injured, police said.

Herald photographer said the green-coloured van was “peppered with holes”.

Inspector Tetley said police were looking for a white Subaru.

He said the attack was not connected to a shooting in Old Guildford on Sunday, which has been linked to the Ibrahim family.

“As far as we know it’s definitely not connected,” Inspector Tetley said.

“There’s nothing to indicate there’s any connection at all.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Liverpool police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Stephanie Gardiner and AAP

Add A Comment


Subscribe to Crime Files Network