EDITORIAL: Get serious on bikie
gangs who think they can standover regular
The Sunday Mail (Qld)
October 06, 201312:00AM
A WEEK after Premier Campbell
Newman declared war on bikies, details have emerged
of even more disturbing behaviour, including today's
story that they are targeting businesspeople as part
of an extortion racket.
Apprentice tradies and young gym
junkies are just some targets of the thugs. Victims are
bashed, threatened with weapons and forced to pay
'fines' of up to $30,000 to the tattooed standover men.
New figures show Queensland bikie gang
members and associates have been charged with 1886
offences in the past six months. The rap sheet includes
charges for murder, torture, kidnapping, stalking,
assault and being armed in public.
Police and politicians are targeting
the gangs after last weekend's rampage on the Gold Coast
by Bandidos bikies.
It underscores the extraordinary head
in the sand approach deployed by senior Gold Coast
police over the past two years. Police Minister Jack
Dempsey was told by senior officers - and he reported to
Parliament - that there had been just three bikie-related
crimes on the Gold Coast in 2012. It was not only
embarrassing but showed the disdain and contempt senior
police have for accountability and transparency.
The Premier wants a zero tolerance
approach to bikie crime. If that means heads must roll,
so be it. It's interesting that former top Gold Coast
cops, Brett Pointing and Jim Keogh, have been drafted in
to help solve the crisis. This is a terrific move
because both men are capable and competent, but it's a
damning indictment on the current administration.
This week, Tourism Minister Jann
Stuckey will unveil one of the biggest advertising
spends ever launched to help the Gold Coast tourist
It will coincide with bikie raids and
a hardline police approach to any person riding a bike
as part of an outlaw motorcycle gang. Why would the
government spend tens of millions of dollars promoting
the state's tourism jewel when the bikies are out of
control? The Gold Coast's future depends on the cops
getting serious about ridding the city of these