There’s a lot about it in the news today following the fatal gang attack at the QANTAS terminal at Sydney airport, and who could object to generally tightening up laws against gang activity when not only the lawlessness but violence that puts the general public at risk is the gangs’ motif?
I can see why being able to outlaw a particular association as a criminal gang could be a useful tool in disrupting gang activity so that they are more likely to be apprehended, but unless the media is being spectacularly wrongfooted in their reporting today, it really does appear that laws are being mooted with respect to criminal activity that are going to be different from other laws depending upon the suspects’ vehicle(s) of choice. What does it matter whether a gangster is wearing a leather jacket and riding a Hog or wearing a hipster outfit and riding a Segway?
The New South Wales premier Nathan Rees is under pressure to respond to yesterday’s deadly brawl at Sydney airport by strengthening the laws relating to bikie gangs.
Rees said the government was considering adopting legislation against biker gangs already in place in South Australia state, which has been described as among the toughest in the world.
Under the laws, the authorities can outlaw biker gangs and make membership of specific groups a crime.
“Our laws allow us to proscribe criminal bikie gangs the same way we do terrorist groups,” South Australian Premier Mike Rann said, urging the legislation be adopted nationwide.
The West Australian:
An outraged South Australian Premier Mike Rann wants his state’s anti-bikie laws put on the national agenda.
Mr Rann says the fatal bikie bashing at Sydney Airport is the exact reason why his state’s anti-bikie laws must be discussed at the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.
The NSW Police’s immediate response, to increase the numbers of officers in their gang squad in response to a recent escalation in turf wars between bikie gangs, seems a more appropriate response – target the illegal behaviour, not what the perpetrators are driving.
Note the biker/bikie confusion in the AFP article. Bikies are outsiders who roam in packs. Some of them run drugs and protection rackets. Bikers are average working people who ride around in social groups. Most of them pay rates and taxes. What are the odds, do ya reckon, that a whole heap of law-abiding bikers are yet again about to be tarred with the bikie brush?