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Crime squad nets more street offenders than serious criminals in the war against bikies

THE war on bikies is catching a tonne of low-level street offenders but only a fraction in the dragnet are linked to organised crime.

Just 3.4 per cent of charges in the first two months of the crackdown were over drugs and extortion rackets that police claim fill outlaw motorcycle club coffers.

A breakdown of arrest figures obtained by The Sunday Mail also shows a bikie or an associate was three times more likely to be collared for a minor crime than a serious offence.

Chief Superintendent Mick Niland said a raft of secret, serious criminal investigations of bikie crime networks were under way but could take years to bear fruit.

Critics say the lack of serious scalps shows either bikie gangs are bit players in organised crime or police are only now picking up the scent.


That is despite seven years groundwork by anti-bikie Task Force Hydra and two years of a Major and Organised Crime Squad on the Gold Coast. Less than a quarter of Operation Resolute's 817 charges were for serious crimes.

Cop-turned-criminologist Terry Goldsworthy said only 28 charges were organised crime (nine of drug trafficking, four of producing, 12 of supplying and three of extortion).

This undermined Government claims bikies were "the pinnacle of organised crime networks", and showed police strategies were "clearly targeting more low level street crime".

Prof Goldsworthy said police "should have hit the ground running" off the back of Hydra.

Supt Niland said "significant time and effort" was going into long-term probes.

"I think even the community would be aware that you can't roll out jobs like that every day - but what you can do is get in their face every day to make their life difficult."

Supt Niland said associates could range from "pseudo cooks for the Bandidos" to accountants and lawyers who helped bikies cash in on "the criminal economy".