ACT Chief Police Officer Justine Saunders has revealed that a fourth bikie gang has established itself in Canberra, after shots were fired last week at a Ngunnawal family home that used to be the residence of Comanchero member.
"If there's something that keeps me awake at night, it's gangs in Canberra," assistant commissioner Saunders said on ABC Canberra on Wednesday.
"In the sense of their serious organised criminal activity and their violent activity they undertake here."
Assistant Commissioner Saunders said that shots had been fired into a house at Ngunnawal on Tuesday last week. It was formerly a residence of a member of the Comanchero bikie gang.
"We’ve seen an incident where shots have been fired into a residence at Ngunnawal. That residence was the previous home of a Comanchero member, but it’s not anymore. It’s a family home for a completely innocent family,” assistant commissioner Saunders said in a statement.
ACT Policing said the offenders discharged a firearm "several times" and set fire to the front door of the house as they left the scene late on Tuesday June 19. They called for anyone who had seen a silver ute or suspicious activity in the Ngunnawal area on that night to contact Crime Stoppers.
The newest gang to set up in the ACT is the Finks motorcycle gang, with "potentially 10" members, assistant commissioner Saunders said.
"Over recent weeks my concern has only grown because unfortunately we now have evidence to suggest that the Finks motorcycle gang is establishing itself here in Canberra which would increase our criminal gangs from three to four and would obviously increase the presence of gangs in the ACT," assistant commissioner Saunders told the ABC.
"Only yesterday you may have seen we had a member before the court who took the opportunity whilst sitting in the court cells, undertaking drug trafficking activity."
Combating organised crime was the number one priority for ACT Policing, she said, while also calling for police to have preventative powers to thwart the gangs.
"I've said consistently and I'll continue to say that police need preventative powers to ensure that we can prevent the sort of crime I've just referred to, occurring, where we can."
Assistant commissioner Saunders said that while the ACT was a "human rights jurisdiction," she wanted "preventative powers that are proportionate and that meet community expectations".
She also called for a national approach to fighting organised crime through preventative powers.
"What is critically important is that we have nationally consistent laws in dealing with what is a national issue."