Bikie gang crackdown

Updated Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:23pm AEST

LtoR Bandidos, Hells Angels, Comancheros, Rebels and Gypsy Jokers

Bike gang crackdown (AAP/Reuters)

The Deputy Police Commissioner, Sir Ken Jones, says criminal bikie gangs in Victoria are being closely monitored.

Dozens of Hells Angels motorcycle club members made a visible display of support at yesterday's funeral of slain Melbourne criminal figure, Macchour Chaouk.

Sir Jones has confirmed he is talking to the State Government about outlawing the physical fortification of gang clubhouses.

"We are always in contact with government about whether we have the right laws to be able to take them on," he told ABC Radio.

The Premier, John Brumby, says the change will be considered.

"Whether in relation to those organised criminal groups, that fortified buildings or residences, whether there might be a case for anti-fortification legislation, so we're looking at that, we haven't formed a concluded view yet but very positive discussions with police command," he said.

Sir Ken has warned those Hells Angels members who were at the funeral.

"My message to those people yesterday is that if they came for any other reason other than to share that event, we know who you are, we're watching you, we've got intelligence and my advice is to stay out of this," he said.

Liberty Victoria is cautioning the State Government against a possible crackdown on bikie gangs.

The group's president, Michael Pearce, says the government should resist any pressure to appear tough on crime in the lead up to the state election.

And he says the state's current laws should be allowed to function.

"Obviously if people are fortifying their houses or their premises and using weapons that are already registered then that's already an offence," he said.

"What you often find in these situations is that the sort of conduct that government is saying we're going to pass laws against is already against the law."

The State Opposition says it supports anti-fortification laws, and also wants to empower police to ban designated bikie gangs.

No one has been charged over Chaouk's death.

He was shot dead in the backyard of his Brooklyn home, in Melbourne's west, last Friday.