Experts say feeder groups could be the
next generation of gangstersSource: AAP
THEY’RE the gangs you’ve probably never
heard of — and their members probably don’t even look like a
threat when you see them in the street.
Mexican Soldiers, Muslim Brotherhood Movement, Red
Devils, Southside soldiers and Mounty County. These young gangs —
which act as feeder groups for outlaw motorcycle clubs — are full of
individuals who haven’t yet joined the “big league” of the Rebels
Their crimes are relatively minor and members tend
to “fly under the radar” but there are fears without intervention it
is only a matter of time before they start to flex their muscles.
Police at the scene of a shooting of a
member of the Red Devils as tensions escalated in NSW.Source: Supplied
Dr Terry Goldsworthy, of Bond University, has seen
first-hand what can happen if gangs are allowed to establish a
A 28-year policeman and former Detective
Inspector, he spent eight years in charge of the CIB on the Gold
He said there was no doubt some members of feeder
clubs went on to bigger criminal careers, although it was difficult
to pinpoint exactly how many
“Because there is that gang culture and they
progress when they get older,” he said.
Yesterday, police in New South Wales carried out a
series of dawn raids on properties in Sydney’s southwest, making
arrests they hope will crush the Assyrian Kings or DLASTHR, a gang
that has created havoc for 20 years.
The gang was blamed for the brutal murder of a
young policeman in 1997, David Carty, 25, who was attacked and
mutilated in a car park.
Gangsters start out low key and fly under
the radar — but often escalate onto bigger crimes.Source: AAP
Dr Goldsworthy said there had been a suggestion
from Queensland police that gangs had been active in recruiting from
feeder clubs, like the Red Devils feeding into Hells Angels.
That state has been plagued by gang trouble in
recent years as feeder gangs have been blamed for wild street brawls
and intimidating locals. Tough new laws have since been introduced
to stamp out gangs and wipe out organised crime.
Many Australians wouldn’t be aware of the feeder
gangs and the potential threat they posed.
“I think they do tend to go under the radar.
They’re not seen as the same time of criminal threat [because] they
tend to be younger and may not have a criminal history yet — and to
put it another way, may not yet have developed their skills.”
But it didn’t always stay that way.
“Certainly you can see a progression from minor
offences — you see it from established criminals that start with
minor stuff and slowly ratchet it up. People who go from feeder
gangs to major gangs are exposed to that.”
The Red Devils are growing in Australia.Source: News Limited
The tattooed back of deceased Brothers 4
Life gang member.Source: News Limited
Dr Goldsworthy thought the answer was to watch
what crimes were being committed and “police them rigorously”.
“If you do those basic things you make things
uncomfortable for them and very quickly puts pressure on them to
stay apart. You don’t want them getting bigger and bigger and more
powerful you want to step on them.”
He pointed to the Bikies on the Gold Coast who
became more and more involved and, “you saw so what happened at
The traditional bikie clubs are quite overt with
their uniforms, bikes and colours but the emerging gangs are a
little harder to spot.
“They do fly under the radar because they’re not
in uniform and clothing you don’t notice who they are.”
They usually lack a formal hierarchy and were far
more loosely organised than traditional bikie gangs.
Members of feeder groups to recognised
gangs can be stopped if they are policed rigorouslySource: AAP
The usual MO was to start quietly.
“Assaults occur, low level drug dealing, unarmed
robbery. It starts out with that but if they’re predisposed to that
it increases to the more serious.
“They tend to try and claim a patch or turf — even
sometime using the name of the area or even the postcode as a gang
He predicted trouble if they became too much of a
“I don’t think the bikie gangs would let them
develop into too much of a threat ... I think they’re happy to keep
them around as some sort of adjunct to recruit from, to do some of
their crimes or assist with their criminal activities.”
But the gang Notorious showed what could happen.
“They sort of came from nowhere … potential is
there you look at the main gangs and the ones off to the side, if
you don’t focus on them they’re going to keep growing. It’s like
weeds — if you don’t pick them they just get bigger and bigger.”
Motorcycle gang member from the
Descendants MC, Red Devils Australia, Gypsy Jokers
Australia, Rebels Australia and Finks Australia.Source: News Limited
Last year, a national gang taskforce was formed
which has meant greater coordination and boosted capability for
police throughout Australia.
Asked about the feeder groups Detective
Superintendent Nigel Ryan said: “People grow attracted to the
alternative option. They consider themselves disenfranchised people
— usually younger men — who are looking for something different, who
like and can play into the larger and I guess riskier groups.’’
The Daily Telegraph
reported concerns from a former
police commissioner, Ken McKay, that the current gang atmosphere
could create a new wave of ethnic-based criminal gangs in Sydney.
In New South Wales last year, the Brothers 4 Life
gang emerged and was thought to be behind a wave of shootings. It
differed from traditional gangs, in that it had a loose structure,
with police believing it was made up of friends and relatives who
had sworn loyalty to founder Bassam Hamzy.
Mexican Soldiers post photos on Facebook.Source: Supplied
GANGS ON THE RISE
* Based in Queensland, members as young as 16 have
been arrested for a range of offences, including trafficking drugs
and extorting money
Muslim Brotherhood Movement
* A gang that grew quickly and recruited mainly
from Sydney’s south-western suburbs, it was largely taken off the
streets after a series of police raids in 2011.
The Red Devils
* Acts as a feeder group for the Hells Angels
* A Gold Coast based feeder group that was linked
with a violent pub brawl in January. Police in Queensland have
targeted Southside Soldiers members, and those from other feeder
groups, to try to stop the next generation of gangs.
* Based in the Mt Druitt, Sydney, area, they are a
group of gangs that unite when they believe they need to protect