Wednesday, 20 July 2011

latest victim of the Gold Coast's Underbelly-style crime wave may have been executed as revenge for sex crimes.



Police are believed to be investigating whether the victim, 36, was involved in crimes including child pornography.

They have not ruled out bikie gang or organised crime links.

The man was slain on one of the city's busiest roads early yesterday in the Gold Coast's third fatal shooting in less than two months.

 He is believed to have been shot in the back and was found slumped by the roadside on Hooker Blvd at Broadbeach Waters.

The killings and a spate of other violent gun crimes have reinforced fears the strip is being over-run by armed thugs and crime gangs, despite police calls for calm.

An intruder bled to death in a Gold Coast hinterland street after being shot by a resident last week, while Gold Coast police officer Damian Leeding was slain during a hotel robbery in May.



Senior police insist the Coast remains safe, but residents have voiced fear at the rising violence.

The police union said shootings and serious crime were a weekly occurrence and "no one is safe".

The shooting came as the State Government admitted it had slashed funding to the Gold Coast police district by $11 million last year.

Regional crime co-ordinator Superintendent Dave Hutchinson expressed concern at the spate of gun crimes but said most were committed by "specific groups" and the public should not be alarmed.

 

"Every day, we have thousands and thousands of people attend the Gold Coast. They come for the day and they leave without being confronted by any crime whatsoever," Supt Hutchinson said.

"I would reassure the public that the average member of the public shouldn't be concerned and we are putting as many resources as we can into finalising this matter."

But veteran local criminal lawyer Bill Potts said the Coast had become "crime central".

"It's become a sunny place for shady people," he said.

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