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Anti-bikie laws working, police say, but more incentives needed to ‘break the code of silence’



A SECRET police submission to the State Government’s bikie law review taskforce has argued mandatory sentences are helping to break the “code of silence” that helps protect gang members from the law.


The Queensland Police submission, which is yet to be made public, insists the contentious VLAD laws are different to other mandatory sentencing schemes as they target more serious offences and offenders can “opt out” to avoid the harsher penalties.

But it has also suggested an alternative scheme in a bid to maintain the “strong incentives” for bikies to either provide information to police or refrain from committing crimes in the first place.

Instead of slapping bikies with an extra jail sentence of up to 25 years if they are found guilty of an offence and do not co-operate with police, the QPS has suggested a maximum “incentive penalty” cap of 15 years.

“A certain and significant incentive is required to overcome the code of silence that exists within criminal organisations,” the submission, which was penned by the QPS and endorsed by the Queensland Police Union, states.

“The QPS advocates for a scheme which provides sufficient incentives for offenders involved in organised crime to co-operate with law enforcement, and which also provides a disincentive to others.”

A man alleged to have been inside the industrial unit when the police raided the outlaw motorcycle gang Highway 61.

Under the QPS’s proposed scheme, a bikie charged with a low-range offence such as going armed to cause fear would serve a maximum of two years and nine months if they did not co-operate with police, rather than 25 years and nine months under VLAD.


Bikies charged with a higher range offence would serve a maximum of 20 years in prison if they did not co-operate, rather than 30 years.

Both Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett and QPU president Ian Leavers declined to comment yesterday as they are members of the Government’s taskforce, but Mr Leavers has previously said watering down the laws “will be like giving them (bikies) the green light to flood back into the Gold Coast and turn it into the crime capital of Australia”.

The alleged sergeant-at-arms for the Highway 61 bikie gang is taken away by Police.

While no formal discussions about the future of the anti-bikie laws have been had around the Cabinet table, The Courier-Mail understands Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s ministers are united on the need to tone down elements of the laws they consider to be “overreaching” or unnecessary including some, if not all, of the mandatory sentencing provisions, but say a tough stance on bikies should be maintained.

The taskforce is due to report back to Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath by the end of March.