THE dark-coloured car slows as it drives along the street and a gunman pumps bullets indiscriminately into the door, windows and fibro and weatherboard walls of an ordinary suburban home. The home is nothing special. Nothing makes it stand out. Except perhaps the surname of the people who live there. Perhaps the bullets slam into the car belonging to the occupants of the house. The gunshots shatter the quiet. The gunman's vehicle, probably stolen, roars off, wheels screeching, job done. This isn't Chicago in the 1920s. It is the harsh reality of Sydney - right now. The scenario has been repeated at least 48 times since March last year - and that's only the ones reported to police. "If people only knew how many shootings occurred in Sydney - there's a shooting on a daily basis, sometimes four or five a night," a law enforcement source said. Explosives, steroids seized in police raids Perth Now, 16 Sep 2011 As the police launch Operation Spartan to put a stop to the gun madness, they admit their two biggest problems are the wall of silence they invariably run up against and the fact that there is no single group involved. Police reticence about singling out particular gangs for blame for the shooting spree isn't just political correctness. While bikies and Middle Eastern crime gangs are heavily involved, sorting out a dispute at the end of a gun has become terrifyingly common. Shots fired between cars at Greenfield Park Drive-bys sending a message at Arncliffe and Auburn Time to end gang wars It can be a blue about drugs, money, territory, a woman, a wrong look, a snub, a petty grievance. The answer is a bullet. Inevitably it is testosterone loaded. "You get two or three shootings that might be related to one conflict but then most are not linked to each other at all," a source said. The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad focuses its attention on southwestern Sydney - areas around Lak- emba, Bankstown, Rosehill, Punchbowl and Flemington. These southwestern Sydney suburbs are the territories of the Punchbowl Boys, the Telopea Street Boys, the Assyrian Kings and the homes of notorious families who are gangs in their own rights. Like the Darwiches and the Razaks, whose fight over the cannabis trade in southwest Sydney claimed victims on both sides for almost a decade until Abdul Darwiche was executed in front of his family after leaving a restaurant in Bass Hill in March 2009. But this time, police can't bring peace to the streets by locking up a couple of families. Over the past five years there have been times when more than 50 per cent of each of the police squads, including homicide and drugs, have been actively investigating the Middle Eastern crime groups who live there. Among the disputes has been one over the ownership of a money-lending business after its boss was killed. These same suburbs are also home to many bikies. "Pretty much every bikie group you can think of has had a member arrested," Acting Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas said. "You can do teddy bear runs once a year but on the other 364 days of the year, you are committing crimes." Name the drug - heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, cannabis - it's available on these streets. Some shootings are drug related, fights over local turf. With the willingness to shoot dozens of bullets into a home comes the danger innocent people can get hurt. Now bullets are being aimed not at the main targets, but their families. It is wives and children waking up in horror.
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