WA Police officers dealing with outlaw motorcycle gangs could have video cameras clipped to their uniforms to counter false allegations of misconduct by “desperate” bikies.
The head of the police gang crime squad this week warned that some bikies may be prepared to accuse police of corruption and planting evidence as preparations are made for the first application under WA’s tough anti-bikie laws.
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said bikies were nervous after the High Court rejected a challenge to a package of Queensland anti-association laws and were now resorting to “desperate tactics”.
“We’ve told our police officers they need to be more vigilant and, if necessary, we will put shoulder-cams or chest-cams on all of them so everything can be videoed,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
The Commissioner has previously been wary of introducing uniform cameras to all frontline officers because of the high cost of maintenance and storing thousands of gigabytes of data.
But Mr O’Callaghan said today he would have no issue with a small number of officers, in this case the gang crime squad, being equipped with cameras.
In May the NSW Government announced a $4 million rollout of military-style “body cams”— lightweight, miniature video cameras clipped to uniforms, helmets or vehicles – to record evidence.
Mr O’Callaghan said the anti-bikie laws would allow police to apply to the Supreme Court to have gangs declared criminal organisations.
“It will dismantle a lot of bikie gangs because they won’t be able to associate with each other,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“They are seriously worried and that’s good – we want them to be worried.”