Fairfield MP Guy Zangari renews call for more police in south-west Sydney

Fairfield Mp Guy Zangari and Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk at the site of the Villawood shooting yesterday.
Fairfield Mp Guy Zangari and Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk at the site of the Villawood shooting yesterday.

For Fairfield MP Guy Zangari, it's simply a matter of numbers when it comes to shootings in south-west Sydney.

“Under the Liberal/National Coalition Government there have been 672 shootings – and the South West Regional Command is 120 police officers under strength,” he said.

“This is an unacceptable figure. These brazen shootings are an indication that gangs know that the NSW Government is ineffective when it comes to managing gun violence throughout the state.”

Mr Zangari, who is also the NSW Shadow Minister for Police, said the last seven days is proof of the need for more police officers in south-west Sydney, including Fairfield (seven short) and Liverpool (eight short) which are both under strength.

Three shootings in the past week - the latest at a park in Villawood on Wednesday night that forced groups of children at soccer training to flee and seek cover in a sports canteen – should result in action according to Mr Zangari.   

“If this was happening in the leafy streets of the north shore, the cavalry would be there protecting the community. The fact it is in south-west Sydney, we hear silence from the government. Enough is enough – we need action,” he said.

“It’s time for premier Gladys Berejiklian to convene a meeting with police minister Troy Grant to ensure this stops.”

A spokesperson for Police Minister Troy Grant said the NSW Government is committed to boosting the authorised strength of the NSW Police Force to 16,795 over this term.

“The recent attestation of Class 330 brought the number of recruits to pass through the Goulburn Police Academy since 2011 to 3,937,” the spokesperson said.

“Of note, the Fairfield and Liverpool Local Area Commands were allocated ten new officers from Class 330.

“The placement of officers is an operational matter for the Commissioner.”

“Last year, the Minister announced the re-engineering of the NSW Police Force to enhance the executive structure and ensure more officers are on the ground where they are needed. Communities across the State will therefore reap the safety benefits.”

Imran Athar Khan, 20, was shot a number of times in a Villawood park in Sydney's west. Photo: Facebook

Imran Athar Khan, 20, was shot a number of times in a Villawood park in Sydney's west. Photo: Facebook

Police are still searching for the gunman that left twenty-year-old Imran Athar Khan with several leg wounds at the southern end of Thurina Park in Villawood on Wednesday night.

CCTV from a house on Lowana Street captured a man running away from the park moments after Mr Khan was shot and a dark coloured sedan driving away from the scene.

Mr Khan was rushed to Liverpool Hospital but despite his injuries, he refused to co-operate with police.

He was in a stable condition on Thursday.

The Villawood man has been on the police radar before. He is due to face court later this month after allegedly refusing to tell police who was in a car that was involved in an offence earlier this year.

Police are looking for a man in his 20's of Middle Eastern appearance, about 175-180 centimetres tall who was wearing dark clothing.

The getaway car was described as a dark station wagon.

CCTV captures a car speeding away from the park after the shooting.  Photo: Supplied

CCTV captures a car speeding away from the park after the shooting. Photo: Supplied

Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk visited the scene on Thursday after requesting police organise counselling for the children and parents who witnessed the shooting.

"About 100 kids were in this park last night," she said.

"Under 6s, under 9s, about five soccer teams in total and they are traumatised.

"We have had feedback from many of the parents that were here last night that their children were absolutely petrified.

"They were running everywhere."

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.