A new police taskforce is targeting underworld shootings in Sydney

Photo: Mark Kolbe/ Getty Images.

A new police taskforce has been established in Sydney to tackle the rise in underworld shootings in the city.

There have been eight execution-style shootings since June 2015, including this week’s murder of Pasquale Barbaro, who was gunned down in Sydney’s inner south-west.

Barbaro, 35, was shot multiple times, including at least once in the head, when he left the Earlwood home of construction industry figure George Alex on Monday night.

Strike Force Osprey will be run by detectives from the State Crime Command and led by the Homicide Squad.

The head of the State Crime Command, Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins said moving the individual investigations under the one banner will allow authorities to utilise all the resources available.

“[This will help] to determine if there are any links or any motivations that we are unaware of at this point of time in relation to these murders,” he said.

“It could be a myriad of different motivations that cause people in the organised crime world to target each other.

“It might be a sideways glance, it might be as simple as that in some cases, it might be a debt that’s owed, it might be someone has disrespected somebody, it’s very difficult at times to figure out the motivation.”

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

“Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence,” the police say.

“We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.”

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