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Bikie gangs in Sydney: how bikies and ISIS are grooming vulnerable kids in Sydney’s west

GANGS Squad officers will visit high-schools and make direct appeals to students as part of an initiative to stop them joining outlaw motorcycle gangs.

The plan has been developed by Strike Force Raptor officers and aims to starve gangs of membership and divert young people from criminality.

Senior Constable Nathan Trueman, a tactical officer with Raptor, said a number of schools had been identified as “high-risk” recruitment zones.

“We’re trying to show them [students] a bit more of what it’s really like in the gangs and what happens when you try to leave,” he said.


Sen-Con Trueman recently visited Arizona and North Carolina in the United States to learn about similar anti-gang initiatives operating locally with success.

“The bikies doing the recruiting are smart blokes,” Sen-Con Trueman said.

“They find what a young bloke likes, whether it’s women, bikes, gambling, and they give them what they want ... and before it’s too late they’re sucked in.”

Raptor police during a non-specified raid. The strike force has developed a strategy to starve gangs of membership and divert young people from criminality.

A number of gangs use supporter groups to scout for potential recruits and groom them for membership. This has been known to happen directly outside the gates of some schools, Sen-Con Trueman said.

“We’re getting actual information to say: ‘this gang is recruiting in this area and members have been seen at this school’,” he said.

Investigations into these incidents are continuing, a Raptor official said.

An Education Department spokesman wouldn’t comment on the program, but said incidents happen “from time to time” and work was continuing with law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and implement “relevant education programs”.

Gangs Squad commander Deb Wallace said directly appealing to students and showing them the reality of gang life could ultimately serve to save lives.

“Once they declare themselves outlaws, there’s no going back,” Det-Supt Wallace said. “Naive kids get drawn into this life and then the consequence of leaving affects their whole life.”

READ OUR SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Inside the squad that beat Sydney’s gangs