Bikie colours’ crackdown to face test
NEW laws cracking down on outlaw motorcycle gangs by banning colours and insignia were introduced yesterday.
The move precedes an Outlaws Motorcycle Club memorial ride in Tasmania tomorrow — expected to draw riders from interstate.
The laws target five outlawed gangs: Bandidos MC; Outlaws MC; The Devil’s Henchmen; Black Uhlans MC; and Rebels Motorcycle Club.
Police Minister Mark Shelton said the law was a new tool for police to use to keep the community safe from gangs “doing the wrong thing in the community”.
“From this point on, those outlawed motorcycle gangs will not be able to wear their colours in public or in fact display them in public.
“This is about keeping Tasmanians safe and making sure the processes that outlaw motorcycle gangs use to intimidate the community will not be available are far as their insignia goes.”
Mr Shelton said the legislation brought Tasmania into line with the mainland states except the ACT and made sure that Tasmania was not seen as a “safe haven” for outlaw gangs.
Those who break the new law will be slapped with a fine of an amount not yet disclosed and the fine will be increased for repeat offenders.
Tasmania Police Northern District Commander Brett Smith said there was a “bucket load” of research and evidence to suggest that gangs wearing colours, particularly in groups, created apprehension in the community.
“We don’t want our community to live in fear because of the behaviour of what these criminal gangs do,” he said.
“Outlaw motorcycle gangs, they commit crime, they assault people and they deal in drugs.
“They have a culture of violence and they do not like police.”
Commander Smith said up to 100 Outlaws MC members could travel to Tasmania for a memorial ride tomorrow
He said police would be conducting checks, have “contingencies” in place and be supported by officers of the Australian Federal Police’s National Anti-Gang Squad.
Commander Smith said the gangs have been contacted to “make sure they fully know what the law is”.
He said this weekend’s ride was an opportunity for Outlaws MC to demonstrate “as they claim, that they are lawabiding citizens ... if they’re not, we will take quite affirmative action. We will seize items, we will charge people.”