Queensland bikie numbers fall following Newman Government crackdown
- The Courier-Mail
- July 14, 2014
And police have revealed the exodus comes despite some gang members being treated as traitors by their former “brothers’’.
“These gangs are treacherous and they are subjecting some members who are leaving to some horrendous behaviour,’’ the police commander of anti-bikie taskforce Maxima, Detective Superintendent Mick Niland, said.
“There have been instances where gang members who have disassociated have had their cars torched, been assaulted, and even had club tattoos forcibly removed.
“But the good news is that at the moment, gang membership is declining and we will make sure the downward trend continues.’’
Police figures show that when Maxima was launched in October last year, there were 1133 bikies in 14 gangs active in Queensland.
But the crackdown, coupled with the threat of hefty mandatory sentences, has slashed the number to 861.
“There are now 272 fewer members of these criminal gangs on our streets,’’ Det Supt Niland said.
“That’s about a 25 per cent reduction — and we are determined to keep the numbers falling.’’
But a senior member of the country’s most powerful bikie gang, the Rebels, said that far from “breaking up the gangs’’, the laws were making them “stronger than ever’’.
“Some people might be moving on, but those still in the gangs are determined to see this through,’’ said Brisbane chapter president, Little Mick Kosenko, who with Stefan Kuczborski has been instrumental in a High Court challenge to the laws.
“The Government has brought the fight to us, and we are determined not to back down,’’ he said, adding that he’d not heard of any gangs “punishing’’ their members for leaving.
“You can leave on good terms,’’ he said.
“We’ve always had guys whose circumstances change and want to move on. The only harassment they get is from the police.’’
Det Supt Niland revealed more than 40 bikies had “openly’’ left their gangs while in other instances “confirmation’’ was received “through our interactions with members”.
He also hailed as a success an online form that allows bikies to declare “they are no longer part of an outlaw group”. He said six bikies had used the forms.
Prominent criminal defence lawyer Michael Bosscher meanwhile said about 30 gang members from the Hells Angels, Red Devils and Bandidos had handed in their colours at his Brisbane office.
“They should be getting legal advice and making statements saying they are no longer members of that club, which may have to be used in court,’’ he said.