ACT Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers, Police Minister Simon Corbell and Crime Stoppers ACT chairman Bryan Roach launch an illegal bikie gang awareness rewards campaign at the Legislative Assembly. Photo: Graham Tidy
Canberrans are being urged to "dob in a bikie" as police place a bounty on the heads of outlaw motorcycle group members as part of national disruption efforts.
Rewards of up to $2000 will be paid to people who provide information leading to the successful prosecution of an illegal bikie, or the discovery of drugs or weapons, in the territory in the next three months.
Last month, police announced a dedicated taskforce within ACT Policing had already begun to target illegal bikie gang members.
As part of nationwide crackdown through Operation Morpheus, Taskforce Nemesis was set up to crack down on bikie gangs tempted to set up shop in the capital.
Officers attached to the taskforce have issued 15 search warrants in the ACT and seized more than 15 firearms, replica pistols, knives, nunchucks and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
While Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers admitted outlaw bikie gang activity was traditionally low across the territory, the fresh push for public information was designed to prevent bikie gangs from gaining a foothold.
He said the campaign aimed to first disrupt, but also to prosecute, illegal bikies and encouraged people to report anything "out of the ordinary".
"Traditionally, outlaw motorcycle groups or criminal gangs of any type involve themselves with the liquor industry, sex industry but they also have fronts in reputable businesses that provide support to back end outlaw motorcycle group activities."
"There are telltale signs of outlaw motorcycle group members – the bikes that they ride, the colours that they wear, that's quite obvious.
"What's not quite so obvious is the day jobs that they have, the split lives they lead, and people need to be aware outlaw motorcycle group members can purport to have a legitimate business when in fact they don't."
Police Minister Simon Corbell said illegal bikie gangs were often tied to crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal firearms, money laundering, threatening behaviour, violence, extortion and corruption.
"Outlaw motorcycle groups are not motorcycle enthusiasts, they are organised criminal groups," he said.
"They are highly mobile and they engage in a wide range of criminal activity for profit, and they do so in a way that often involves violent behaviour."
Crime Stoppers ACT chairman Bryan Roach encouraged anyone in the community to report information anonymously to the organisation by phone or online.
Mr Roach would not say how many calls the organisation had already received which related to bikie gang activity since Taskforce Nemesis began.
He warned that bikie gang members often approached vulnerable people who were short of cash.
"If anybody in the community is approached to do some banking on behalf of someone they suspect is involved in organised crime or they suspect could be an outlaw motorcycle gang member I suggest that that might be a trigger."