Army could join Queensland Police to help bikie crackdown

  • The Sunday Mail (Qld)
  • October 13, 2013 1:00AM

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THE Army could join forces with Queensland Police to wage war against outlaw bikie gangs.

Australian Defence Force personnel yesterday assisted Victorian Police in a raid on a Hells Angels’ property in Melbourne.

And Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey is ready to consider any request from police here if they want to enlist military support in the bikies battle.

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“It would be a matter for the Commissioner (Ian Stewart) to raise if he felt the QPS required the assistance of any other agency,” a spokeswoman for Mr Dempsey said.

Months after cuts were made, the crime watchdog is getting a seven million dollar boost to help the crackdown on bikies

The Victorian authorities swooped on a premises at Craigieburn in Melbourne’s north yesterday morning and seized a large prime mover, parts of which police believed were stolen. It followed raids earlier in the week by 700 officers, including federal and customs staff, which confiscated guns, ammunition, drugs and $50,000 cash.

The Newman Government continues to draft new laws it hopes will help eradicate outlaw motorcycle gangs from the Sunshine State.

The first tranche – including a move to deny bikies bail – would be rushed through Parliament, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said yesterday.

Gang members should be “in jail and not get bail”, he said. “We believe that the best thing we can do for the community is to have these people off our streets.

“On the odd occasion that bail is granted we’re also going to toughen the requirements for surrender of passports.”

And Mr Bleijie vowed that any legal push to block the reforms would be met by an intensification of the government’s “show of force” against criminal gangs.

“This is only phase one, there will be more laws, they will be tested and we will keep fighting these criminals,” Mr Bleijie said.

“The more they fight our legal reforms the more we’ll fight back and keep adjusting and modernising our laws.”

Heavily armed police raid a bikie club house in Melbourne.

On Friday, Mr Bleijie briefed fellow Attorneys-General on the Queensland crackdown at a meeting of the Standing Council on Law and Justice in Sydney.

“We’ve taken the reins on this issue and some states today expressed interest in mirroring what we’re doing,” he said.

“Criminal motorcycle gangs aren’t just a Queensland problem, they’re a national problem.”

But Queensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O’Gorman has described as ”draconian” the decision to strengthen the Crime and Misconduct Commission’s powers to allow bikies to be hauled before star chamber

as draconian.

“The current model is that people can be called in to answer questions if the police have exhausted all other avenues of inquiry,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“To now say bikies can be pulled in, even if they are not suspected of any offence, and made to answer questions as to where have you been, who have you been with … where they’ve got their money from, is simply extreme.

“Experience shows that if you bring this law in to deal with bikies, next month, next year it will be brought in to apply to all of us.”

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