National

NSW police arrest 25 in firearms crackdown

By AAP Newswire

NSW Police have sent a message to "wannabe gangsters" and "career criminals" with the arrest of 25 people in an operation following a string of recent shootings in southwest Sydney.

Twelve shootings, including five in public places, have been reported in the region since the beginning of August and police on Wednesday said they had charged 25 people with 42 offences and executed searches at 54 properties.

Officers seized 13 firearms including seven pistols and a homemade gun, as well as 380 fake credit cards, cash, an electronic stun gun, knives, knuckle dusters, ammunition and outlaw bikie gang colours.

NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna said protecting members of the community was the "number one priority".

"Those wannabe gangsters or even career criminals who want to commit violence in public places...we will come down on them very swiftly and very firmly," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"Every single shooting is being thoroughly investigated. We understand the seriousness of these matters and we will leave no stone unturned."

Mr McKenna said that while there had been no random attacks" with each one targeted, any public shooting exposed innocent people to danger.

Among those arrested in Operation Clampdown, which has been underway since September 3, was Ayman El-Sankari.

The 23-year-old has been charged with shooting with intent to murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and breach of bail.

Police will allege El-Sankari, set to face Bankstown Local Court on November 10 after already being refused bail, is one of a group involved in the shooting of a 29-year-old man in Lakemba in late August.

Meanwhile, Taj El-Chami was arrested on Saturday before being refused bail at Bankstown Local Court on Monday.

The 39-year-old, charged with nine offences including possession of a prohibited weapon without a permit, will next face Bankstown Local Court on October 28.

Police Minister David Elliott said Operation Clampdown had demonstrated that gun violence won't be tolerated in NSW.

"Their reckless actions show a flagrant disregard for community safety and this government will not tolerate this vigilante behaviour," Mr Elliott said in a statement.

"For the past week police have sent a powerful message to any person that continues to flout the law - you can expect to be arrested and you will be put before the courts."