Letter To The Editor
LIVING in Canberra we are fortunate to enjoy one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. Therefore any report of bullets being fired in a densely populated neighbourhood is highly concerning to those who live there.
When it happens three times within a matter of weeks, in the same area, including twice in the same street, questions need to be asked - what's going on?
After reports that shots were again fired in Gungahlin in the early hours of Friday morning, police have stated - again - that they do not believe the incidents are related. While this is possible, such assurances do little to ease the minds of residents desperate to know what's happening near their homes.
The community has a right to know more than is being made public. The public was not told of the latest shooting until more than a full day after it occurred.
On August 16 following a raid on a bikie clubhouse that failed to find evidence linked to the Gungahlin shooting at a tattoo parlour, Detective Sergeant Matthew Gale assured the local community they had nothing to fear.
''This is a singular incident … any incident that's reported to us, regardless of any allegiance and affiliations with groups or clubs, will be taken seriously and investigated as we have done today,'' he told reporters.
But just over a week later residents have again been rattled by the sounds of guns being fired near their homes.
As the police often acknowledge, their greatest asset in solving crimes is the co-operation of the local community. But trust is a two-way street. If police want to keep the public on side, they need to be more forthcoming before assuring them they are not at risk.
Given the tattoo parlour that was attacked in one of the shootings had promoted itself as the only one in town not affiliated with bikie clubs, it is understandable why some members of the Gungahlin area may fear they are in the middle of a turf war.
If this is not the case, then police should explain why they believe this. If there is concern that there is some larger rivalry evolving, then as much of that information that can be released without compromising investigations should be made public.
Police have a difficult job to do, and have to keep some information confidential. But if there is a series of drive-by-shootings in their neighbourhood, residents have a right to be kept up-to-date as much as is possible.