The ACT government will crack down on gun crime in the territory by offering cash rewards to people who report information about illegal firearms.
The government will pay up to $5000 to people who supply information that leads to the seizure of illegal guns or the successful prosecution of a gun-related crime.
The measure comes barely two months after three unrelated shootings in Gungahlin.
Police are yet to make any arrests in relation to the shootings.
They are still investigating whether the first shooting, at the Tatts On Tatts Off tattoo parlour in August, is connected to motorcycle gangs in Canberra.
The second shooting, through the lounge room window of a home on Anthony Rolfe Drive, was believed to be a targeted strike, while the third, in Ngunnawal, was believed to be drug-related.
Police Minister Simon Corbell said the number of reported gun offences in the ACT had fallen by 34 per cent during the past four years but the recent incidents showed a “need to be vigilant”.
The reward is $4000 above that typically offered by CrimeStoppers for information that leads to a conviction.
Mr Corbell said a committee set up by the territory’s chief police officer Rudi Lammers would assess whether information supplied to CrimeStoppers was suitable for a reward.
Mr Lammers described the measure as “putting a bounty on illicit firearms in the community and criminals who use or possess illicit firearms”.
“You will have seen over the last days and weeks the significant activity around outlaw motorcycle gangs and illicit firearms in the community throughout Australia,” Mr Lammers said.
“The ACT wants to continue to make the community safe.”
Mr Lammers added the move was “not an amnesty”.
“This is not about bringing forward guns families might have had for years and they’ve just decided they want to bring them in and surrender them to police,” he said.
“This is specifically targeted at criminal activity, at criminals who hold and use illicit firearms in the community.
“We’re encouraging mums and dads, people throughout the community who know something – and people do know something about illicit firearm usage.
“Particularly the last three incidents we had recently.
“Somebody will know about that and we’re hopeful that somebody will come forward and report it.”
Mr Corbell said the $5000 figure had been recommended by the Chief Police Officer.
“Even if we keep one illegal firearm off the street as a result of this measure it will have been a success,” he said.
“Even if we get one piece of intelligence that helps lead to police arresting or dealing with someone known to be involved with illegal firearms, that is a good outcome and that is the whole purpose of the reward.”
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