Bikies little threat to society - police study
May 7, 2012
''We just ride our bikes and that's it'' … bikies behaving quietly in Kings Cross on Saturday night. Photo: Steve Lunam
OUTLAW motorcycle gangs call themselves the ''1 per centers'', the fringe minority that will never be part of mainstream society. But police figures show bikies commit less than 1 per cent of all crimes in NSW and ''are not a threat to mainstream society''.
A police report on the gangs - or OMCGs - using a decade worth of crime data, obtained by the Herald, shows in NSW ''OMCG members have contributed to 0.37 per cent of offences committed''.
''This percentage on its own does not portray a culture that is a threat to mainstream society or involved in consistent and broadscale crime,'' the report says.
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''Over the 10-year period … a total of 990 OMCG members have been charged with a total of 7647 criminal or serious traffic offences. This means that 50.2 per cent of all known OMCG members of NSW have been charged and processed.''
Police say ''OMCG members are over-represented in certain crime categories'' pointing to 1678 violence related charges.
''Of this figure 41 were connected to homicide-related matters, 879 drug-related charges were processed. Of this figure 306 were related to drug supply offences''.
But based on these numbers police say ''there is no other portion of the community that has such a large rate of offending, that are consistently violent in their behaviour and so entrenched in the illicit drug market in this state''.
The bikie barrister Wayne Baffsky, the lawyer for the United Motorcycle Council and Hells Angels, rejected this statement as ridiculous. ''These figures don't discriminate about minor and major offences, drug, traffic or otherwise,'' he said.
''Secondly, when they charge someone associated with a club, even if they are not members, they are attributed to the clubs - that's a huge problem.''
Mr Baffsky was with the UMC's Saturday night convoy from Liverpool into Kings Cross, where amid a heavy police presence 30 members parked on Bayswater Road opposite the Trademark Hotel, run by the Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim.
Despite the UMC's promises of peace and goodwill there was a noticeable change in the group's demeanour when Mr Ibrahim and an entourage including ''Tongan Sam'' arrived about midnight and stood outside the hotel for an hour or so.
Last month, the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, moved on the bikies, banning them running tattoo parlours along with a raft of legislative changes to the Crimes Act as a response to tit-for-tat shootings that included an attack on a house rented by the former Nomad president Sam Ibrahim.
Zac, a Comanchero working with the UMC, said bikies are allowed to come into Kings Cross despite Mr O'Farrell announcing blanket bans on them wearing club colours and emblems in Kings Cross venues.
He blamed ''the media, government, the police pumping it out, making us look like the bad people''.
''We are just like everyone else, we got a wife and kids waiting for us. Jobs. Responsibilities. We just ride our bikes and that's it,'' he said.
But police see it differently, reporting OMCGs are ''more likely to be involved in the commission of a crime''.
Police crunched the numbers from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2008. In NSW, 2,073,718 offences were processed, of which 7647 were linked to confirmed members of OMCGs in NSW.