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Police fighting losing battle against organised crime


TRG raid

BIKIE RAID: Police and TRG officers raid the Coffin Cheaters Perth headquarters. Picture: Kerris Berrington Source: PerthNow

POLICE are fighting a losing battle against bikies, with 92 per cent of officers claiming outlaw motorcycle gangs will never be completely stamped out in WA.

Seven in 10 police polled said the force was not winning the war against bikies and the underbelly of organised crime, despite intensive anti-bikie operations in which guns and high-grade drugs have been seized.

And 82 per cent of respondents said the Corruption and Crime Commission should focus more on tackling organised crime by using its special powers.

Two new bikie gangs emerged in WA in the past two years the notorious interstate Finks and the Canadian-based Rock Machine. The Sydney-based Comancheros have also tried to gain a foothold in WA in the past year.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan refused to comment on the survey results.

But the assistant commissioner for specialist crime, Nick Anticich, said police had mounted a successful war against bikies and maintained pressure on their movements to curb organised crime.

"It's a virulent form of crime," Mr Anticich said. "It is difficult to tackle. We have developed strategies that effectively go to the environment in which they operate and disrupt their criminal activities.

"As to whether you stamp them out in total, history would show that's very difficult, if not impossible. However, history has also shown that if you do not apply pressure to them, if you do not attack their criminal activities, they will grow.

"Our strategy is very much about mitigating the risk and harm that they cause and their growth. We will continue to mount an offensive against them and we continue to review our strategies on how best to do that."

Opposition police spokeswoman Margaret Quirk said bikies and organised crime syndicates were clearly issues that needed more operational resources.

"Organised crime investigations are complex and lengthy and need a range of capabilities currently not at their disposal," Ms Quirk said.

"Before Government gives the CCC more power over organised crime it should ensure that police are adequately resourced to undertake these vital investigations."



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