News

Police asking for help on firearm theft

By Ivy Jensen

MOAMA and Mathoura residents are being called on to help target firearm thefts in the area.

It is part of NSW Police’s Operation Armour which will focus on preventing, disrupting and reducing firearm thefts across regional areas, such as the Murray River Police District.

General duties officers will be helped by specialist police from the Firearms Registry, Rural Crime Prevention Team, Drug and Firearms Squad and the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor throughout the operation.

Police will carry out firearms prohibition orders and weapons prohibition orders, as well as safe storage inspections.

Regional NSW Field Operations Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the theft and sale of firearms often occurred in regional areas.

‘‘Firearms that are not stored securely or stored at locations that are not in daily or even regular use, make easy opportunities for thieves during break-and-enters,’’ Dep. Comm. Worboys said.

‘‘When in the wrong hands, firearms are dangerous and a threat to the community. We will continue to do everything we can do to keep the public safe.’’

Moama police Acting Sergeant Francis O’Brien said the operation would also strengthen relationships between local police and the community.

‘‘There’s only so much police can do on our own, we need the assistance of the community in reporting firearm thefts to us, so that we can get more guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals,’’ he said.

‘‘We understand that people in rural communities hold firearms for legitimate reasons, so following safe storage procedures is vital in the prevention of theft.

‘‘There are hefty penalties for those who possess unregistered or illicit firearms.’’

Information about responsibilities as a firearms owner and safe storage can be found at police.nsw.gov.au/online—services/firearms