Police reject reward call over shootings

By Vincent Morello April 12, 2012

NSW police are rejecting calls for crisis talks, cash rewards and gun amnesties to tackle the gun violence plaguing Sydney, in which eight men have been wounded in 11 shooting incidents since April 1.

Even as the latest victim of Sydney's shooting spree has sent officers to a phantom crime scene, police say truthful witnesses and dogged police work will lead to arrests.

Most of the victims are known to police and have provided little information to investigators, who were allegedly led on a wild goose chase over the latest incident.

The 20-year-old, who presented at Westmead Hospital with a wound to his leg about 12.30am yesterday, claimed he had been shot in Lisgar Street, South Granville.

Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli said the victim would not identify who took him to hospital and said all he saw was a man wearing a balaclava and a hoodie open fire from a gold-coloured vehicle. He said police spent hours inspecting the Lisgar Street area.

''There is no evidence of a crime scene, there are no projectiles, there is no bloodstain, there is nothing there,'' Mr Mennilli said.

He said the victim was known to police and had behaved like many others who had been targeted in the past 11 days.

''They are doing nothing at all to assist investigators in trying to resolve the crime,'' Mr Mennilli said.

Police would need to prove that the man had hindered the investigation by providing false information before any penalty could be imposed.

''We have to establish that he's blatantly told lies to police before we can take action,'' Mr Mennilli said.

Police said the victim was an associate of another man who was shot nearby last weekend.

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson reiterated calls for Premier Barry O'Farrell to hold crisis talks and to authorise police to offer up cash rewards of up to $50,000 for information leading to a conviction.

However, Mr Mennilli said good police work and witnesses coming forward, rather than rewards, were what would lead to arrests.

''I'm not going to get involved in the political games, but I don't believe that's going to achieve anything,'' he said.

He also rejected the idea of a gun amnesty. ''Who's going to give their gun in if they want to use it for criminal activity?'' Mr Mennilli said.

On Tuesday, a 24-year-old man was shot in the stomach at Guildford and a 29-year-old man was shot in the shoulder at a Kings Cross strip club on Monday.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old has been charged after police seized a gun they believe may be linked to four recent shootings.

Operation Spartan was launched on January 12 in response to a spate of 18 shootings during that month in western Sydney. To date, Spartan officers have arrested 314 people, laid 550 charges and seized 36 firearms, but the majority of the 2012 shootings across western Sydney remain unsolved. AAP

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