Vic police set up illicit firearms unit

Gus McCubbing
·1-min read

A specialised Victorian police unit has been established to investigate the manufacture and trafficking of illicit firearms.

Police Minister Lisa Neville says there were nine fatal and 41 non-fatal shootings in the state last year.

Authorities also seized more than 770 firearms.

"We're continually looking at ways we can deter and disrupt the manufacturing, trafficking and use of illegal firearms to keep Victorian communities safe," Ms Neville said in launching the Illicit Firearms Unit on Monday.

"The new and highly trained unit will build on the work of previous specialist teams with invaluable intelligence that will enable us to put a stop to illicit firearms."

Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill says the new team, which includes 22 investigators, is the "first and only" dedicated firearms unit in Australia.

"This unit has been established to work upstream so we can mitigate the number of illicit firearms that have been manufactured or trafficked to use in the community," he told reporters.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission estimates there are more than 260,000 illicit firearms across the country.