The Gold Coast Bulletin
Hoon meet organisers face a stretch
ORGANISERS of large scale Gold Coast hoon meets could be jailed for up to three years and billed for the police response to their dangerous antics under out-of-control event laws.
Police are also investigating links between the large-scale car meets on the Gold Coast and known hoon gangs across southeast Queensland.
The Bulletin can reveal police are exploring how the legislation, aimed at targeting unruly parties and events, can be used to target organisers of the hoon meets on the Gold Coast.
Police say they’ve narrowed down a “core group” of people who they believe are organisers of the large-scale hoon meets, which are organised through social media and application platforms.
Under out-of-control events laws, organisers face up to three years’ jail and can be forced to pay costs involved in policing the incident if found guilty.
Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman said a weekend when 1000 people and 600 cars gathered in a northern Gold Coast car park, performed burnouts and targeted patrol vehicles was a “watershed moment”.
He said police had been actively targeting meets under operation Tango Vinyl, which is expected to run for the rest of 2021.
So far 52 people have been charged with 68 offences. Hundreds of tickets have been issued and 16 vehicles seized.
“We believe there’s a core group arranging these activities and we are using a multitude of strategies to unmask and identity these individuals with a view of taking appropriate action against them as organisers of these events in due course,” Chief Supt Wildman said.
He confirmed police were exploring a variety of avenues to prosecute the organisers of Gold Coast meets including the use of the out-of-control event laws in place since 2014.
“Apart from the driving behaviour of individuals … we are also exploring … prosecuting the organising of these events as another prevention strategy.”
Since the first weekend of April numbers had dwindled, and police say the meets had since dispersed to other areas around southeast Queensland.
Police are still investigating offences from hoon meets across multiple weekends.