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New unit focuses on illegal firearms

VICTORIA Police has formed a new unit dedicated to ensuring illegal firearms aren’t falling into the hands of criminals.

Police minister, Lisa Neville and Victoria Police acting deputy commissioner, Robert Hill on Monday launched the illicit firearms unit, which included a team of 22 investigators dedicated to deterring and disrupting firearm-related crime across the state.

The unit will work closely with other enforcement agencies across the country focusing on investigating the manufacturing and trafficking of illicit firearms, which include firearms illegally imported or manufactured in Australia, along with registered firearms that have been stolen.

Ms Neville said there were nine fatal shootings in the state last year, along with 41 non-fatal shootings that resulted in injury.

She said police last year seized more than 770 illicit firearms across the state.

“We’re continually looking at ways we can deter and disrupt the manufacturing, trafficking and use of illegal firearms to keep Victorian communities safe,” she said.

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