OFF THE WIRE
BIKIES have joined police in calling for a halt to the spate of drive-by shootings in which more than 200 rounds of ammunition have been fired in Sydney streets this year.
More than 42 incidents have been recorded by police, from single shots aimed at cars to entire magazines emptied at houses full of sleeping people.
While underworld groups and bikie gangs have been blamed, police are worried it is only a matter of time before an innocent person dies.
Bikie club officials are carrying out their own investigations and have sent a message to the culprits: stop, it’s bad for business.
``It’s something that gets discussed at meetings and each member goes back to his club to see if there’s any truth about member involvement,’’ United Motorcycle Council’s barrister Wayne Baffsky said.
``And if there is, they will talk to these people and remind them that it makes all of them look very bad. It attracts very bad publicity.’‘
``If we do become aware of something happening, we want it stopped.’‘
The UMC, made up of 18 motorcycle clubs, was formed in 2009 to fight now-defunct anti-bikie legislation and has since acted as the mouthpiece for Australian outlaw bikers.
``The escalation of these incidents is extremely concerning,’’ Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad commander Detective Super-intendent Deb Wallace said.
Police established Strike Force Felix last month after nine separate shooting incidents across Western Sydney.
Strike Force Felix is backed by local police, specialist gang detectives and officers from the elite anti-bikie taskforce Raptor, the unit tasked with stopping the violence.
Already police have fingered possible links to underworld figures or outlaw motorcycle groups.
One detective said bikie involvement was probably limited to a handful of members squabbling over cash, drugs or girls rather than a full-on gang war.
42 shooting incidents in Sydney since January.
Two people dead (October 21, Maroubra; January 19, Ruse).
Five people injured.
Incidents range from single shot fired to 30 rounds (fired at a Doonside house).
Drive-bys, brawls, home invasions.
At least 200 shots fired.