The announcement today by the Andrews Labor Government of a new Illicit Firearms Unit within Victoria Police is too little, too late as illegal firearms continue to present a significant threat to the safety of the Victorian community.
This new unit will only see an additional 12 officers added to the existing 10 officer Firearms Investigation Teams, despite serious firearms-related offences continuing to rise over the last 12 months under Daniel Andrews, including:
Aggravated carjackings involving a firearm up 90.91 per cent
Unauthorised possession of two or more firearms up 387.5 per cent
Prohibited person possess imitation firearm up 26.42 per cent
Possess imitation firearm without exemption/approval up 16.75 per cent.
It has also been confirmed that Victoria’s Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPO) remain in the slow lane with only 669 of the 2,200 identified targets having been served since May 2018, compared to NSW issuing an average of approximately 730 per year.
With offences of prohibited persons possessing a firearm up over 9 per cent over the last five years and total firearms offences more than doubling between 2010 and 2019, it is clear Daniel Andrews has failed to take meaningful action on gun crime and left Victorians fending for themselves.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:
“Victorians deserve real action from Daniel Andrews to get firearms out of the hands of hardened criminals.
“With violent gun crime continuing to spike despite COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s clear Daniel Andrews has dropped the ball on community safety.
“Daniel Andrews has bungled his anti-gun orders and we’re now seeing more violent gun crime more often throughout the community.”