Victoria Shadow Attorney General Robert Clark
NSW Moves On Bikies While Brumby Leaves Victorians Vulnerable
Victor P Taffa
Yesterday’s announcement by NSW Police that they will seek to have the Hells Angels declared a criminal organisation under NSW laws targeting criminal gangs is further evidence of the need for similar laws in Victoria as proposed by the Coalition.
“While the Coalition has a tough plan to outlaw criminal bikie gangs, Premier John Brumby and his Attorney-General have turned Victoria into a bikie haven by refusing to enact laws that would allow such gangs to be declared illegal.” Shadow Attorney-General Robert Clark said today.
“John Brumby denies there is a problem and claims Victoria do not need such laws but the action yesterday by NSW Police shows how such laws can be used to protect the community.” Mr. Clark said.
“Criminal bikie gangs have already set up shop in Victoria after relocating from other states that have introduced laws banning these gangs.”
“Police forces around Australia believe that some bikie and similar gangs are engaged in serious criminal activity such as drug production and trafficking, violence, blackmail, extortion, arson and intimidation and represent a major threat to public safety and order.” Mr. Clark said.
“The Coalition has already announced that if elected we will introduce tough legislation to outlaw criminal bikie and other gangs and to enable demolition orders if criminal gangs erect fortified premises in suburban streets.”
“Under our laws, gang assets found to have been used for criminal activities will be forfeited, and if the gang continues to try to operate after being declared illegal other gang assets and the gang-related assets of members and associates, such as motorbikes and other gear, can also be forfeited.” Mr. Clark said.
“Members of these criminal gangs intimidate and coerce people by openly displaying gang patches and insignia and being able to call in other gang members. Specific laws that allow criminal gangs to be outlawed are needed so Police can act without having to prosecute numerous individual offences and prove that explicit threats were used.”
The Coalition’s legislation will enable the Supreme Court to declare a bikie or other gang to be a criminal organisation whenever it is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that members of the organisation use it to associate for the purpose of organising, facilitating, supporting or engaging in serious criminal activity such as drug trafficking, extortion, intimidation or violence, and that the continued existence of the organisation represents a serious threat to public safety and order.