CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
In case you’ve tuned out of the fairly low-key coverage of Sydney’s very real gangland war, there was another shooting in yet another seemingly normal middle class suburb this week.
It’s just one of the now weekly gun crimes that has left 25 Sydney residents dead since 2020, with nearly a hundred more injured.
The post-pandemic rise in organised crime-linked violence has left the Sydney media torn between sensationalising the terror plaguing the city for TV ratings and website clicks, or protecting the NSW Police from any scrutiny out of fear of jeopardising their media contacts who text them every time an NRL player gets caught with a bag.
While the media and the politicians also look the other way, Sydney is just two more gun deaths away from surpassing the body count of Melbourne’s famous early-2000s gangland war that inspired the famous Underbelly TV series and countless books.
The the general public, who have to live amongst these sporadic sprays of gunfire, it remains a mystery as to why the NSW Police haven’t asked for any help from the public or the state government.
This may be because the NSW Police is one of the most overfunded government departments in the state, and actually aren’t in a position to complain about anything – unlike their contemporaries in nursing and teaching.
However, what is clear is that the current approach to hosing down gang crime, or even catching the wanted fugitives behind these crimes, is not working.
Speaking to the media today, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb refuted claims that they simply don’t care.
“We want these violent, traumatising, and extremely illegal crimes to stop more than anyone” said Webb.
“But then whose gonna shut down all of the vibrant inner-city pubs that are keeping the blow-in boomer property investors awake at night?”
As Webb points out, the NSW police aren’t actually incompetent, they’ve just got different priorities, and to focus on a gangland crime would take their attention away from tasing grannies and crushing the arts and youth culture in general.
“We can’t be everywhere at once.” she said.
“What you people need to remember, is that in this city, in this state, the most important thing is the property market. That’s what must be protected at all costs. More than the lives of our own residents”
“A couple hot bits of lead flying through the city aren’t really affecting house prices.”
“Not like a live band on a Friday night. Now that’s something that will cool an auction”