The man who heads the police taskforce tacking criminal bikie gangs in Queensland fears a resurgence of crime if the state’s bikie laws are defeated.
There’ll be a resurgence of criminal gangs in Queensland if the Hells Angels defeat anti-bikie laws in the High Court, a top police officer says.
Mick Niland heads Taskforce Maxima, which is working to dismantle criminal motorcycle gangs under controversial laws drafted by the Newman government.
The detective superintendent says the taskforce has made great progress in ridding the state of the scourge of criminal gangs.
He says police have shut down bikie gang chapters, and 27 of 46 identified club houses.
He says more than 1000 people have been charged with almost 3000 offences under the laws, which took effect late last year.
“Over 25 per cent of those have been for significant offences declared under organisational crime,” he told ABC radio.
Det Supt Niland said nationally, between 2007 and 2012, there had been a 48 per cent increase in chapters and gang membership but that trend had been arrested in Queensland.
“We have not see any increase in CMG (criminal motorcycle gang) membership or chapters since the commencement of this legislation,” he said.
“In Queensland, we’ve stopped them dead in their tracks as far as that increase is concerned.”
Det Supt Niland warned the gains would vanish if the High Court ruled in favour of bikies who are challenging the laws.
Hells Angels gang member Stefan Kuczborski is the face of the High Court challenge to the bikie laws.
Mr Kuczborski and his backer, the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland, say the laws undermine the institutional integrity of the state’s courts and deny people the rights of freedom of speech and natural justice.
In June, High Court Justice Patrick Keane indicated he would like the case heard in the first week of the court’s September sittings.
The Newman government’s Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws introduced last year ban motorcycle gang members gathering in public or at clubhouses.
Members also face an extra 15 years’ imprisonment for serious crimes, or 25 years for office-bearers.