Violent gangs with members as young as 15 are holding up Melbourne gaming venues.
Armed with shotguns, knives and machetes, they are targeting gaming businesses in the city’s north and west.
Armed Crime Squad detective inspector Stephen Clark says officers are investigating 15 armed robberies and have made several arrests.
He wouldn’t comment on reports youngsters are being recruited to the gangs because if caught, they will likely receive light sentences.
Detective Inspector Clark said the level of violence and the young age of some offenders were major concerns.
“It’s no surprise that children are involved in crime across the board … but it’s of significant concern when we’ve got children committing really violent and traumatic offences,” Det Insp Stephen Clark said.
“We know that adults are involved in the planning and we know both adults and children under 18 are involved in the commission of the offences.”