For years the Rebels bikie gang have had a foothold in the
But Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the rumoured arrival
of the Comancheros bikie gang in Canberra was a concern for the authorities.
The end result is that the ACT is a tough place for
criminals to get together.
Australian Federal Police Association chief executive
He said the ACT Government would now consider a law that would
ban contact between any two people convicted of similar offences.
"At the moment in other jurisdictions it is illegal for
someone with a specific type of offence and criminal record to associate with
other persons with similar offences," Mr Corbell said.
"We don't have those positions currently here in the act, but
I can tell you it is under active consideration."
Last year the ACT Government launched a special police
taskforce to target firearms, money laundering and drug crimes, in an attempt to
stymie bikie activity.
However these new laws flagged by the Attorney-General would
give police a new set of tools for dealing with bikies.
Mr Corbell said he did not want outlaw motorcycle gangs to see
the ACT as "a soft touch" when it came to organised crime.
"To strengthen our laws [and] give police powers to deal with
bikie and other organised crime activity as they see it on the ground, is I
think, an appropriate response," he said.
But he said any ACT laws would be vastly different to those in
NSW and Queensland.
"We don't need to be sensationalists in the way other
jurisdictions have to a degree which have led to other problems in terms of
anti-association, or indeed in terms of declaration type laws that we've seen in
other places," Mr Corbell said.
Recent spate of shootings 'a wake-up call'
Australian Federal Police Association chief executive Dennis
Gellatly said police would certainly welcome any laws that would intercept
organised criminal activity.
"It has been said with other states toughening up on
anti-association or anti-consorting type laws, that if the ACT didn't follow
suit, then it would become a softer landing place for organised crime to
gather," he said.
"The Attorney-General has used the term anti-consorting laws,
which places an emphasis on people getting together for criminal purposes or
associating with criminals.
"That's the right emphasis - the end result is that the ACT is
a tough place for criminals to get together."
Mr Gellatly said the proposed anti-consorting laws would give
police in the ACT the power to intervene in the possible planning of criminal
He said the recently spate of shooting in Canberra were a
"wake-up call" for the authorities.
"There have been several shooting incidents around the ACT in
the last couple of weeks. Very few of those have any apparent links to organised
crime or bikies ... but I think it's a wake-up call that we need to sit down and
think about these things very carefully," he said.