South Australian police 'on top' of bikie violence
November 22, 2012
POLICE rejected they're unable to control bikie violence despite two murders and nine shootings in Adelaide since January blamed on motorcycle gangs.
Acting Commissioner Grant Stevens said he was frustrated at the lack of information from witnesses to the Pooraka shooting.
Mr Stevens said workers at the car body shop were giving "limited co-operation" and it was clear the bikie code of silence was hampering the investigation.
SA Police has formed Operation Alpha, a squad of 30 Major Crime and Crime Gangs Taskforce officers dedicated to investigating the latest murder.
Mr Stevens rejected suggestions that police were overwhelmed with bikie crime and said the taskforce was needed because of the seriousness and scope of the murder investigation.
"There's a significant amount of work that has to be done and it's appropriate we have dedicated investigators working on those investigations," he said. "Crime Gangs Taskforce will continue to do its normal work, which includes investigating crimes committed by other outlaw motorcycle gangs within SA."
Acting Premier and Attorney-General John Rau also rejected suggestions police had lost control of the streets. He said the Government had provided SA Police with extensive powers to crack down on organised crime.
"The Government is continually frustrated by criminals who refuse to co-operate with police to assist investigations," Mr Rau said.
"Laws currently before the Parliament will, once in place, encourage these people to provide information to SAPOL about serious and organised crime."
Mr Stevens said existing bikie laws were "quite effective", citing more than 400 arrests or reports of bikies and associates in the past two years.
"Anybody who suggests police aren't doing everything they can to stem and disrupt bikie violence is making a comment from a misinformed position," he said.
"When you have people who resort to violence and have no regard to community standards or community laws, they are going to find ways to take those matters into their own hands."