New Police Commissioner targets outlaw motorcycle gangs on Gold Coast
After eight armed hold-ups in a week on the coast incoming Qld Police Commissioner Ian Stewart admits outlaw motorcycle gangs are particularly attracted to the glitter strip. ( how this is connected I dont really see...)
They're among the top group of criminals who'll get Mr Stewart's attention when he starts the top job he told ABC Coast FM's Morning Presenter Nicole Dyer.
"Certainly I see that as one of the major jobs of any senior police on the Gold Coast.
"The outlaw motorcycle gangs are attracted to the glitter strip, to the tourist strip, to the nightclub environment.
"The activities of drug dealing that the bikies get involved in particularly; I think that's one of the reasons why they are attracted to that environment."
Armed and Dangerous
Queensland Police Service know that outlaw motorcycle gang members are actively involved in the trade of illegal firearms to both make money and to use the firearms, particularly in armed robberies.
However, Mr Stewart has no concern about streamlining gun laws.
"I actually believe that a positive approach to cutting red tape is a very, very good strategy, it has many benefits even to the police department doing that," he says.
"The easy road to getting an illegal firearm is theft, we see it every second day where a house is broken into and a firearm is stolen.
"I ask all legal gun owners to make sure that they take every precaution that's necessary under the law to keep those firearms safe and secure."
Raids and Anti-Association Laws
Meanwhile, three years has passed since an outlaw bikie gang clubhouse was last raided, but Stewart says the Gold Coast police of the 'very, very active taskforce Hydra' have visited homes when intelligence allows.
"We'll be doing a lot behind the scenes to keep our intelligence of these groups very strong and to act on that intelligence.
"Ultimately acting against clubhouses when we have the appropriate evidence is critical to having the confidence of the community that we're on top of this issue."
Mr Stewart believes the Queensland anti-association laws used against outlaw gangs can work, and are a 'very necessary tool' to deal with this type of people.
"I know there have been successful challenges in the past but I hope that our legislation will stack up.
"We're not talking about people who simply go riding on the weekend on motorbikes because they enjoy the company of other riders and the freedom of the open road...that's not who we're talking about.
"We're talking about people who are simply criminals, that's what they are and that's what their purpose of getting together is."
More Police Officers for the Gold Coast
The Government has promised the QPS an extra 1100 officers and another 200 officers who'll come from desk jobs in the next four years.
"There is significant pressure on all Government departments...but that doesn't mean you have to do cut-price policing and I'm going to be arguing for our share of the budget.
"I am sure that quite a significant slice of those extra people will go to the Gold Coast all the way up to Logan in fact.
"Because unfortunately many of the offenses committed on the Gold Coast are committed by people who come in from other areas."