ACT Region Crime Stoppers (CSACT) is putting its support behind a national effort to reduce the number of illegal firearms in the community by asking people living in and around Canberra to share what they know about illegal guns and safely surrender any they may have, without penalty.
ACT Region Crime Stoppers is partnering with ACT Policing to raise awareness about this important community safety campaign, which builds on the success of a national firearms amnesty promotion last year that led to more than 11,000 guns surrendered or seized.
CSACT’s recently elected Chair, Oliver Forrester said with an estimated 260,000 unregistered guns across the nation, all Australians should think about how they would feel if they stayed silent about an illegal gun which was then used to harm or kill someone.
“Criminals often go to great lengths to obtain a firearm illegally and then conceal it from authorities, so it’s unlikely they would go to that effort unless they are prepared to use it,” Oliver said.
“Canberra is certainly not immune from the devastating impacts that come with having illegal firearms in the hands of criminals. We have seen the tragic loss of life and severe injuries that occur when people turn a blind eye and allow illegal firearms to remain in the community,” he said.
“The demand for illegal firearms is driven by organised crime groups right through to low level individual criminals, who want and use firearms to protect their interests, threaten and intimidate and commit violent acts.”
“If you suspect that someone has an illegal gun, share what you know with Crime Stoppers before it is too late. Report safely without the need to say who you are, get involved, or put yourself at risk of harm.”
ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said that Canberrans can make a call or report online any information they have to Crime Stoppers.
“Crime Stoppers provide an invaluable national information service for all law enforcement jurisdictions. In this case anyone with information about illicit firearms can call 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers website to provide information,” said Deputy Commissioner Gaughan.
“Importantly, information can be provided anonymously.”
“Only last month we were able to conduct a search warrant on a vehicle as a result of information from the community. We discovered an illegally modified firearm and more than 100 rounds of ammunition. This is the type of outcome we can achieve with community information.” Next month, CSACT, ACT Policing and NSW Police will host an information stand in Queanbeyan where members of the community can come along and find out more about the National Firearms Amnesty.
More information about how and where to surrender unwanted, unregistered and illegal firearms can be found at www.crimestoppers.com.au.
Being caught with an unregistered or illegal firearm outside of amnesty conditions could result in a significant fine, imprisonment and a criminal record.
For more information about ACT Region Crime Stoppers visit https://www.crimestoppersact.com.au/
0429 614 297