More than 2300 registered firearms have been stolen from private residences across NSW since 2009, prompting calls from the industry that the thefts were more than coincidence.
Fifty firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition were stolen from registered NSW gun owners in one period of 16 days, with claims the firearms registry has been compromised.
One robbery victim had eight guns stolen within months of being audited by police and his new address added to the registry.
“I was audited by police in May last year and robbed in October. I had eight weapons stolen from a secure safe,” the victim said.
“I live in an estate of 70 homes and was the only place robbed. To me it was obvious I was targeted with information from somewhere.
“Call me cynical but it is too much of a coincidence.
“I have been in the same shooters club for years and never had a problem.”
In a number of cases since May 14, when the robberies began, entire gun safes have been removed from properties with weapons inside.
Officers said criminals could access the information through a variety of sources – not just the registry.
However dealers are not buying the explanation from police saying the registry would be a gold mine to criminals as it contained details of the types of weapons, where they were stored and addresses of owners.
“We have no evidence to suggest the information has come from the registry,” head of the firearms and organised crime squad Detective Superintendent Ken Finch said.
He said there was no investigation into the registry at the moment – but nothing had been ruled out.
Supt Finch agreed some of the recent thefts appeared to be targeted: “Most are in rural areas where people know locals have multiple weapons.”
Supt Finch said the registry was subject to strict audit provisions and not accessible by all police officers.
“Access is only granted by a local area commander when it is needed for an investigation.”
He said only a limited number of civilians had access and usage of the list was strictly monitored: “Gun clubs are another possible source of information. Some robberies could be opportunistic.”
No reported investigation has been conducted to date into NSW Firearms Registry information leaks and co-ordinated gun theft from registered owners.
Highly trained policewoman mistakes .40 cal pistol for Taser
Meanwhile a highly-trained policewoman Sergeant Sheree Bissett shot and killed a man at Lakemba who had mental issues and was harming himself, posing no threat to any other person.
Witnesses state Sergeant Bissett and three other female officers attended the incident where she tested her Taser several times then drew her Glock handgun and without any proper warning shot Salter in the back.
Deputy State Coroner Scott Mitchell said the critical incident investigation report, written by Detective Inspector Russell Oxford of the NSW Homicide Squad, was “seriously flawed” and he thought it is more likely than not that Sergeant Bissett mistakenly chose her Glock, having intended to employ her Taser.
The officers claimed to the NSW Police Integrity Commission Mr Salter grappled with Constable Abela before Sergeant Bissett shot him in the back, but paramedics and Mr Salter’s father said there was no contact.
Wilson, Abela and Metcalfe have been charged with perjury and giving false evidence, while Bissett has been charged with one count of giving false evidence to the commission. All four have been ordered to stand trial in Sydney’s Downing Centre on April 26, 2016.
These officers are still out there, not suspended, with guns, and the capabilities of fabricating evidence.
The public should be terrified that Sergeant Sheree Bissett who has difficulty distinguishing between a non-lethal Taser and a Glock .40 cal pistol, is still on duty with a firearm in her holster.