South Australia anti-bikie laws need
teeth like Victoria where police can get military support
Sunday Mail (SA)
October 12, 201311:00PM
NEEDING LEGAL TEETH: Police raid the
Finks club house - now known as Mongols - at
Thebarton. Picture: Tait SchmaalSource: News
THEY came armed with a piece of
paper, not driving a bulldozer.
While a search warrant achieved the same
result at Thebarton yesterday as the spectacular raids in
Melbourne last Thursday, it highlights the stark reality that
police around the nation are now confronted with - a hotchpotch
of bikie legislation, rather than uniform laws.
TOUGH: Police raid the Hells Angels
clubrooms in Fairfield, Melbourne. Picture: Nicole
Their new legislation gives them that power.
In South Australia, police cannot do this.
They can, if they wish to, drive a bulldozer through the front
gate to gain entry to execute their warrant, but they have never
needed to take that visually dramatic step. The only thing they
can legally dismantle is the barbed wire or bars on a window
that prevent entry for them.
Police have asked the State Government to
strengthen existing legislation to enable them to tackle SA's 13
bikie clubrooms. The request should be one of the first tasks
tackled when state parliament resumes this week.
As several dozen armed police combed every
inch of the Finks northside chapter - sorry, Mongols north side
chapter - club rooms yesterday, irritated gang members could do
nothing but stand by impatiently and watch.
Part of a coordinated disruption operation,
the show of force by police was a clear indication the
patch-over by Finks members to the US-based gang is being taken
seriously by police.
It is a clear indication there will be no let
up, no breather in the attention paid to the men who once wore
Bung on their backs with pride.
On Friday acting police commissioner Grant
Stevens indicated it will be business as usual for police
despite the change in jumpers.
It can be argued the patch-over will increase
the police attention on the gang, at least until the precise
motive becomes clear.
In the US the Mongols have a standing "shoot
on sight" policy concerning their fierce rivals the Hells
Angels. The two gangs have a long, bloody history of violence
towards each other.
While the former Finks and local Hells Angels
have been warring recently, police will no doubt be closely
monitoring their activities to ensure these hostilities are not
taken to US levels.
Yesterday's action can also be seen as sending
a clear message to all gang members in Adelaide who may have
been under the misapprehension the high-profile raids in
Victoria and Queensland had taken the police spotlight off them.
It is a pretty fair guess yesterday's actions
will be repeated regularly over the next few month's now the
bikie phenomena has finally been recognised as a national
POLICE GREET MONGOLS WITH RAID
By Nigel Hunt
POLICE have welcomed the South Australia's
newest motorcycle gang to town with a raid on the Mongols'
Police speak to a Mongols member at
Thebarton. Picture: Tait SchmaalSource: News
Several dozen police - including bikie
detectives and uniformed officers - swarmed the compound of the
US-based gang yesterday, just days after Victorian police
launched an unprecedented crackdown on the Hells Angels.
But in stark contrast to their interstate
counterparts, who tore down fences with bulldozers and yesterday
called in the army to assist in its bikie war, SA police used a
search warrant to gain entry into the former Finks' HQ - as has
been their usual practice.
The Mongols, a gang notorious for its deadly
war with the Hells Angels, has hammered out a deal with the
Finks that has seen members unite under the Mongols banner.
The Sunday Mail spoke to several Mongols
members impatiently pacing in front of the compound as the raid
took place, one who for the first time, confirmed the Finks gang
had patched over to become the Mongols in SA.
Several gang members were wearing the
distinctive black T-shirts, with the distinctive Mongols'
character riding a chopper.
One gang member was sporting a fresh Mongol
tattoo on his cheek.
The tattoo was in stark contrast to the Finks
tattoos on the knuckles of each hand - that are more than likely
set to be lasered off.
"This is the Mongols," the gang member, who
did not identify himself, said.
"This (police raids) happens all the time."
The Sunday Mail understands other
premises were also searched by police yesterday, including the
southside headquarters of the Finks - a tattoo parlour on
Brighton Rd, Seacliff - and private residences of gang members.
In a twist, tradesman working on the
building's roof had to down tools shortly after 12.30pm when
police and Star Group officers arrived.
Police declined to comment on their activities
when contacted late yesterday.
GOING HARD ON THE GANGS
army raided a Hells Angels property on Saturday, above, removing
a truck in a continuation of an unprecedented blitz by more than
700 police officers who swooped on 60 properties, broke open
gang strongholds, arrested gang members in their search for
military-style weapons used in a recent spate of shootings.
Police, with help from the army,
removed a truck from a bikie junk yard in
Craigieburn, Melbourne. Picture: Chris ScottSource: News
Government has launched an unprecedented crackdown on organised
crime after a massive brawl involving up to 60 people on the
Gold Coast last month. Premier
Campbell Newman has funded more police on the beat and promised
tougher laws to give the state's crime watchdog more power to
call in and question gang members.
NEW SOUTH WALES:
In September police shutdown clubhouses of the
Comancheros and Hells Angels and in May
high-ranking bikie gang members were arrested after
hundreds of police officers launched dawn raids across Sydney.