20 August 2013

Tony Abbott’s crackdown on gun crime will help give NSW Police the upper hand in the fight against criminal gangs, NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell said today.

Mr O’Farrell welcomed the Federal Coalition’s plan for a $100 million boost to border protection funding to stop the flow of illegal weapons into Australia.

“Tony Abbott’s plan has my support because it will help stop illegal handguns from entering Australia in the first place and into the hands of criminals,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“The Police Commissioner has said 93 per cent of drive-by shootings involve the use of illegal handguns and 100 per cent of all handguns are imported.

“Federal Labor’s cuts to border protection services like Customs have seen an influx of illegal weapons into Australia through our porous borders.

“When the Howard Government left office, 60 per cent of air cargo was inspected by authorities.

“Under Labor, it has fallen to just 10 per cent.

“Inspections of sea cargo have also fallen.

“The NSW Police are doing an excellent job of getting illegal weapons off the street but guns are flooding in through the nation’s porous borders as quickly as police can remove them.”

The Federal Coalition’s plan also includes Local Anti-Gang Squads to tackle organised crime, tougher penalties for trafficking illegal firearms and establishing a Crime and Community Safety Standing Council – giving police a greater say in the national approach to fighting organised crime.

“This plan will build on the efforts of NSW Police and the additional powers given to them by my Government to protect the community from gun crime.

“Tony Abbott is offering a real solution to tackle organised crime in yet another key policy area where Federal Labor has dropped the ball,” Mr O’Farrell said.


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