Breaking down the wall of silence

Why are some witnesses to the spate of shootings across Sydney reluctant to speak out?

Do they fear becoming a target? Are they worried about exposing their own criminal activities? Or Do they simply not want to get caught up in the conflict?

NSW Police investigating the shootings have complained about a ‘wall of silence’ among witnesses and called on the community to help the authorities so they can get the guns off the streets.

A recent police analysis found that handguns were used in 88 per cent of gun crimes committed in 2012, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. The figure grew to 94 per cent for shootings that took place in a public location. 

gun.pngInitially, the official line from police about the shootings was that they were targeted at specific people in the community involved in criminal activity. Recently, however, there has been a shift, with police saying that in some cases young men were involved in shootings over minor matters, including turf, politics and family conflict. 

Meanwhile, many law-abiding members of the community who live in relatively quiet suburban streets are asking whether it is only a matter of time before an innocent bystander becomes a victim. A witness to one of the shootings has said: ‘Every time the kids look at the news and hear another shooting, they look at me and say, ‘Are they going to come back to us’?” 

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~ by widyanalubudy on July 27, 2013.

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