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CMC says new anti-bikie laws could lead to police corruption

QUEENSLAND'S controversial new anti-bikie laws will be expensive and could lead to police corruption, the Crime and Misconduct Commission has warned the Government.

While the Government continues to work towards banning outlaw motorcycle gangs, documents released under Right to Information laws show the CMC is not convinced they are the best option.

Under the laws police will be able to seek control orders, based on secret evidence, to prevent members with serious criminal histories from associating with each other.

In its response to the Government in September, the CMC said phone tapping, witness protection and property seizure worked better than consorting laws.

Pointing the Government to its earlier submission to the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission in 2008, the Crime and Misconduct Commission said anti-consorting laws had led to police corruption.


"Historically, the policing of anti-consorting style laws has been associated with significant police corruption," the CMC said. It named the Queensland Police's discredited former Licensing Branch as an example of where the laws broke down.

"Police in the Licensing Branch consorted with people they were supposed to be investigating," the CMC said.

"Commissions of inquiry have highlighted similar misconduct issues in other Australian jurisdictions, such as New South Wales.

"From a Queensland perspective, we believe that an enhancement of existing law enforcement powers, including the refinement of the existing proceeds of crime legislation and the introduction of telephone interception powers, are likely to be more effective in disrupting organised crime networks than legislation to outlaw serious and organised crime groups."

In his in-confidence letter to Attorney General Cameron Dick, then-CMC chairman Robert Needham said the banning laws could be obsolete as organised crime groups were growing more sophisticated.

In March the CMC warned the anti-bikie laws were driving the outlaw gangs to work together.

"We believe that increased co-operation among Queensland-based OMCGs in their opposition to 'anti-bikie' legislation may lead to increased collaboration in their involvement in illicit drug markets," the CMC's latest illicit drugs report says.

The groups formed the United Motorcycle Council (UMC) to fight the laws in April last year.

Among its members are the Bandidos, Black Uhlans, Finks, Gypsy Jokers, Hells Angels, Outcasts and Lone Wolf.




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