Queensland war on bikies turbocharged after top cops meet
- The Courier-Mail
- December 05, 2014
Fifty superintendents and inspectors from the state’s 15 police districts attended yesterday’s “strategy meeting” at police headquarters in Roma St, Brisbane.
Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing revealed the police meeting was a show commitment — just weeks after Queensland’s outlaw motorcycle gangs lost their High Court challenge to the state’s anti-bikie VLAD laws.
“As a consequence of the handing down of the High Court’s decision last month, police have now got certainty in terms of moving forward in the Statewide campaign against criminal motorcycle gangs,’’ Mr Pointing said.
“The VLAD legislation is the toughest in the Australia on bikie gangs, and we make no apologies for that but our ability to use those laws to their full extent was hampered by the High Court challenge.
“Those matters have been resolved, and as a consequence we’ve brought all of our senior police involved in the gang campaign to Brisbane to turbocharge the campaign and for those gangs members who may have though our campaign was over, well it’s just beginning.”
Mr Pointing, the commander of Operation Resolute which includes the police anti-bikie Taskforce Maxima, stressed police had not backed-off on bikies during the court action.
“The challenge certainly did not stop police from applying the law, but it gave hope to those who had been charged under VLAD that the matters would be struck out and wouldn’t proceed to trial,’’ he said.
“In essence, gang members were hoping the additional prison time that’s included in VLAD for being a gang member would disappear, but we’ve now got certainty and we’ve got a high degree of commitment from police to make Queensland a safer and more secure place though eliminating criminal motorcycle gangs.
“We can apply the legislation to the fullest — any barriers have been removed.”
Mr Pointing released new figures which he said were evidence police had maintained the blitz on bikies during the recent court action.
“The statistics in terms of numbers of arrests and the drop in crime have been stunning,” he said.
Since police began their bikie crackdown just over a year ago, 1536 criminal motorcycle gang “participants’’ have been arrested on 4465 charges — half of them drug related, and $2.3 million in cash seized.
“These gangs have been an intractable problem for too long and this whole new strategy around policing has delivering enormous evidence that crime is dropping in Queensland,’ he said.
“What we do know is that there are very strong links between criminal motorcycle gang participants and the drug trade and very strong links between the drug trade and property crime.
“In other words, people break into your house to steal things to get money for drugs, so the knock-on effect of this campaign has been phenomenal.
“So can see why CMG members threw so much energy into their challenge because they had a lot to lose — there is a lot at stake here. Their criminal way of life was under threat.”