A series of recent shooting incidents across Launceston left the broader community in shock.
But police say it was shocking not only because of the nature of the crimes, but because it was "out of the ordinary" for the region.
While it was no secret guns were out in the Tasmanian community, it was rare for police to be investigating multiple shooting-related events within one week.
And historically, those firing the guns, and those being shot at were generally known to police. However, the most recent incidents put innocent lives at risk, when shots were fired into homes, and at vehicles on the street.
That was why detectives were working around-the-clock to find those responsible. In order to do that, Northern Commander Stuart Wilkinson said police needed the public's assistance.
"We are appealing to the community, tell us where these firearms are, and who has them," he said.
"Any information given to police, and through Crime Stoppers, is anonymous."
At least four firearms-related incidents were reported in the past week.
One of the first involved a woman being shot in the back as she pulled over on the side of a road at St Leonards on April 2.
On the same night, a homemade firearm was discharged during an alleged altercation at a home at Invermay.
Early the next morning, a shot was fired into a home in Balfour Street.
Later that night, the rear windows of a car and bus were damaged in a suspected firearms incident at Youngtown.
Within days of the events, detectives had already charged two people, and had suspects in the other cases.
It was a common theme for northern police, with the district's clearance rate sitting at 44 per cent for general crime, 65 per cent for serious crime, and 67 per cent for crimes involving firearms.
Not only were police in the district clearing cases, they were arresting crooks for serious crimes within days of the offending.
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But despite some positive statistics, Launceston-based Detective Inspector Craig Fox said police were still realistic about crime.
"Stopping crime is not going to happen, but we have strategies to try and reduce the amount of offending," he said.
"One of those strategies is to take people committing the crimes off the street. So if we can charge people with say drug trafficking or gun crime, and get them remanded in custody, then Launceston is a small enough place that if two or three of those key players get taken out of the picture there is a real downturn in offending."
While clearance rates for the unlawful discharge of a firearm in public was sitting at only 22 per cent in the district, detectives faced different challenges when it came to investigating such incidents.
In the majority of cases, shots were fired long before police were alerted, and evidence was limited.
Detective Inspector Fox said it was also difficult to prevent homemade firearms, similar to what was used in the Invermay incident on Friday night. In these cases, police relied on information from the community to track down the weapons before they were used.
"It all comes down to intel, if we can get the information about homemade or stolen guns, then we can try and get it sooner," he said.
It was not the first time a homemade firearm made headlines either.
In 2019, a 29-year-old man died at Ravenswood after a homemade firearm accidentally discharged, shooting him in the chest.
"They are highly volatile, and very dangerous, to police, and even offenders," Detective Inspector Fox said.
"Having said that, homemade firearms are still very rare."
While illegal weapons were a focus for police, legal gun owners still had a role to play, Commander Wilkinson added.
"The majority of recreational shooters are doing the right thing, they are very responsible and they value their firearms and the fact that they have firearms licence," he said.
"But we encourage those people to make sure they are vigilant in relation to their security to prevent those firearms from getting into the wrong hands."
In the coming months, police will host a series of firearms amnesties across the state, in addition to the permanent amnesty already in place.
- Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000
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