Police say Queensland bikies are deserting their outlawed gangs despite the risks of retribution, including the forced removal of club tattoos.
About a quarter of Queensland’s outlaw bikies have cut ties with their gangs since October, despite the risks of retribution.
The commander of the anti-bikie taskforce Maxima, Detective Superintendent Mick Niland, says the state now has 272 fewer gang members.
He’s confident the trend will continue, despite the risks of payback.
“There have been instances where gang members who have disassociated have had their cars torched, been assaulted, and even had club tattoos forcibly removed,” he told The Courier-Mail.
“But the good news is that at the moment, gang membership is declining and we will make sure the downward trend continues.”
When taskforce Maxima was launched in October, there were 1133 bikies in 14 gangs active in Queensland. The latest figures have that number down to 861.
But a senior member of the Rebels says the laws are making gangs stronger than ever.
“Some people might be moving on, but those still in the gangs are determined to see this through,” the Rebels’ Brisbane chapter president, Little Mick Kosenko, told the paper.
“The government has brought the fight to us, and we are determined not to back down.”
The United Motorcycle Council is leading a High Court challenge to Queensland’s anti-bikie laws.
The laws, introduced in October, impose mandatory prison sentences on gang members convicted of offences, and restrict their ability to meet in public.
Jailed bikies are also forced to serve their time in solitary confinement and wear pink jumpsuits.
The laws ban bikies from working in a range of industries and make it a crime for three or more patched members to gather in public.