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Victoria Police announce new weapon to target organized crime groups

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The newly formed VIPER task force will begin on Monday, July 4, following the completion of the 2021 crime command review.

It will consist of detectives, general purpose police, intelligence officers, members of the Public Order Response Team, with support from specialist members of the road police.

“Eighty police officers will initially be deployed to the VIPER Taskforce, which will be led by a detective inspector,” the police said in a statement, adding that the task force is a “state first.”

The launch of the new task force comes amid a wave of gang violence in Melbourne.

Abdulrahim, nicknamed “The Punisher”, was driving his luxury Mercedes into the funeral procession in Fawkner before noon when a Mazda pulled up next to it and someone shot him in the chest.

As part of this “proactive” crackdown, officers will look for firearms bans, bail compliance checks, police checks on OMCG runs, enforcement of vehicle checks and increase their commitment to events known to host members of serious and organized crime groups.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the task force will be “hostile” towards gang members.

“We want to create the most hostile environment for organized crime in Victoria and we make no apologies for that,” he said.

“The VIPER Taskforce will increase the pressure on these criminal groups through a range of enforcement activities designed to hold them accountable. We will target all of their activities.

“This is one of the most significant, coordinated and proactive actions against organized crime syndicates in Victoria Police history and I expect to see immediate results when it comes to community security.”

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