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SA Offense to consort with Motorcycle Clubs

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Removed_User7, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION: Future impact of serious and organised crime on Australian society: Discussion


    CHAIR—
    Thank you for coming today. We appreciate your assistance to this committee


    Assistant Commissioner Harrison—
    Thank you for the invitation to be here this morning as a follow-up to the submission.


    Assistant Commissioner Harrison—
    It seems to be the case that, whether it is the transport industry, the security industry or, more recently, finance, money lending, telecommunications and so forth, there is certainly a move into those industries and there is no doubt it is for the purpose of, in the broadest of terms, enabling money laundering and disguising the black money, the proceeds of the criminal activities.
    From a South Australian perspective, I would really like to highlight—and I know this is certainly evident in other parts of Australia—the very close direct linkages with outlaw motorcycle gangs. There has literally been a proliferation of membership and an increase in the existence of both gangs themselves and the membership of those gangs and associated chapters. Certainly, from a South Australian perspective, I can speak with some authority that all serious organised crime—with investigations launched either by us at a state based level or together in a joint agency approach with the Australian Crime Commission, AFP and others, bar none—all have a linkage with outlaw motorcycle gangs. I think the outlaw motorcycle gangs see it as improving their status within the serious organised crime world, if you like. From the perspective of the more traditional serious organised crime figures, I think they like the associations because they can call upon the outlaw motorcycle gangs for, I guess, debt collection, extortion, blackmail, intimidation and violence. There is no doubt that it is a two-way process and that the outlaw motorcycle gangs are infiltrating more widely into serious organised crime, but also the more traditional serious organised crime figures want to be seen and want to have linkages with outlaw motorcycle gangs.

    You may be aware that in recent weeks the government of South Australia—and, as recently as yesterday, the Premier made a significant announcement of significant law reform in the area of outlaw motorcycle gangs—will certainly assist law enforcement with the policing of organised crime more generally and will certainly have an outlaw motorcycle gang focus. I am part of a working party at both the state and the national level to try to advance collaboration across all agencies and jurisdictions around the country. I know that, even as recently as last week, police ministers and commissioners met in Wellington. Certainly New Zealand wants to be a part of any development in having more of a national collaborative approach o serious organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

    I will very quickly say that there is certainly evidence of increasing involvement by technical experts, if you like—people who have financial accounting skills, lawyers, solicitors and others who we are finding in real estate and other industries who have direct linkages with serious organised crime and particularly outlaw motorcycle gangs. Certainly, in more recent years there seems to have been an increase in ethic based groups involved in serious organised crime.
    A number of those have been highlighted through both media and law enforcement activities in recent years. It will be another significant challenge for law enforcement to be able to infiltrate ethnic based organised crime groups. I think we have been traditionally relatively successful in infiltrating the more traditional Australian based groups, but it is more challenging when you come up with language barriers, cultural barriers and other barriers to start to infiltrate ethnic based organised crime groups. Those are certainly just a few comments in addition to the submission. I am certainly more than happy to take questions in addition to that.


    Senator MARK BISHOP—
    Do you have any evidence that that growth in the hydroponic industry and in the trade backwards and forwards between South Australia and the east coast is linked to either outlaw motorcycle gangs or organised crime groups?


    Assistant Commissioner Harrison—
    So, yes, it is directly linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs in some cases and certainly to other, ethnically based, organised crime groups who have taken advantage of the cannabis production market within Australia.


    Assistant Commissioner Harrison—
    Yes. Consorting in South Australia is still on the books—if you consort with a reputed thief, prostitute or a person with no visible means of support. That is where it stands today, which is very archaic.
    We are suggesting bringing that into the 21st century and calling it ‘criminal association’—renaming it—and including things such as ‘violence’ and ‘serious drug’.
    We are looking at making it an offence to consort with a person subject to a control order. So if you take out a control order or a prohibition order, an anti-association, order against an individual, particularly looking at outlaw motorcycle gangs, it will become an offence to actually consort with the person who is the subject of the control order.
    We are taking the approach of looking at bringing in control non-association orders to target the hub of the organised crime networks —the inner sanctum, if you like, which is the difficult area for law enforcement to infiltrate—but then use the consorting updated regime to attack what I call the tentacles, the hangers-on, the street gangs, the prospects and the nominees of outlaw motorcycle gangs, to preclude them from being able to continually associate will full members of outlaw motorcycle gangs or higher ranking people within serious organised crime groups.
    I advocate that you need to have a multipronged approach, because, in going for RICOs, my view, in light of the New Zealand and Canadian experience, is strongly that we will end up in two or three years in the courtrooms and, at the end of the day, these people will be there laughing at us.


    CHAIR—
    Do these laws include an updated kind of consorting—by the internet—as well as, say, meeting on a street corner? Have you considered that? The other thing—and you might answer both of these together—is that we heard evidence about the triad laws in Hong Kong and elsewhere, where even claiming to be a triad is an offence. Is that something you have looked at as well?


    Assistant Commissioner Harrison—
    We certainly have looked at it. In answer to your first question about bringing into the 21st century consorting into a criminal association regime, we will certainly be looking at things such as voice over internet, telephones, the internet itself, person to person—we will try to capture all those associations to make sure that it is contemporary with the way people communicate today
    So we are suggesting to the government that we need some hard-hitting, quick approaches, which we think include the control order, the non-association consorting type regime plus a number of others, and behind that we should be diligently working away at developing legislation which maybe is not quite as complex and as difficult as RICO type styles of regimes and legislation.


    CHAIR—
    On this proposed legislation, has someone been given the green light to go ahead and do this?


    Assistant Commissioner Harrison—
    I can say that the South Australian cabinet endorsed the development of this yesterday morning. There is a working party and a senior reference group, together with police and Attorney-General’s and others. The expectation from our government is to have the first phase of this legislative reform ready for probably September-October this year into parliament.

    Quoted From -

    http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/piweb/view_document.aspx?id=74403&table=COMMJNT


     
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  2. Here is another , but check the highlighted text to where he got his proof from

    JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION: Future impact of serious and organised crime on Australian society: Discussion

    CHAIR—
    I welcome the Western Australia Police and I thank Assistant Commissioner Gregson and Detective Superintendent Porter for coming along to give evidence to our committee.

    Assistant Commissioner Gregson—
    Western Australia Police are privileged to be here. We have provided a written submission in accordance with the terms of reference, which articulates a number of key future trends that we consider are emerging. They revolve around identity fraud and security concerns, the trafficking and manufacturing of drugs, and financial and fraud crimes.

    CHAIR—
    Perhaps you could just very briefly highlight the major aspects of your submission

    Assistant Commissioner Gregson—
    With respect to identity fraud and security concerns..... We are seeing the infiltration by organised motorcycle gangs, particularly, into those key roles, which is a concern for us.
    With respect to the trafficking and manufacturing of drugs, Western Australia is a stepping stone oftentimes for the assembly and manufacture of precursors before they head east. We also see a significant involvement of outlaw motorcycle gangs dealing with illicit drugs, particularly precursors and finished product in amphetamine development.
    One of the issues that seem to be emerging, particularly with outlaw motorcycle gangs, is that, where there is some emphasis or focus on them in metropolitan capital cities, they tend to go into regional areas. We are seeing evidence of a shift of some of these gangs to areas such as Bunbury, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie, where they are perhaps a step away from a more focused effort.

    Assistant Commissioner Gregson—
    It is tremendously resource intensive. I could ask you,
    ‘Please allow me to put a listening device in the home of every bona fide member of an organised motorcycle gang,’ and that would be fantastic, or, ‘Please allow me to intercept telephones based solely on the fact that they are members of an organised motorcycle gang,’ and that would be fantastic, but I suspect it is unlikely to happen.

    CHAIR—
    In your opinion, do the people who join these gangs know that they are joining gangs that have very intense criminal connections, and do they themselves usually expect to be part of that, or are they just ordinary, innocent members of the public who join these gangs because they like motorcycles?

    Assistant Commissioner Gregson—
    My understanding is that the gangs actively recruit nominees. They are the ones that select the apprentices that are going to fit their mould. I do not think you would knock on the local bikie hall door and say, ‘I’d really like to join your club.’ I think bikie gangs see that such and such a security company has a good market share of the nightclub industry in Northbridge and say, ‘Why don’t we approach a couple of their employees and start a security company?’ That is the way in which they recruit.


    Mr KERR—
    We now have proscription of various organisations on national security grounds. Membership of those organisations is itself an offence.
    I personally have some concerns about making membership of organisations which might have a political manifestation an offence, but I am trying to tease out the situation with a motorcycle gang and how law enforcement might propose to deal with it.

    Assistant Commissioner Gregson—
    I think you have some fundamental philosophical issues with RICO legislation. There is no doubt that RICO legislation and like types of legislation can be very effective.


    Det. Supt Porter—
    On that point, I think what Assistant Commissioner Gregson alludes to is that, yes, we have problems with outlaw motorcycle gangs, but the issue that Mr Kerr raises actually relates to organised crime generally, not just outlaw motorcycle gangs.
    We have a problem with outlaw motorcycle gangs because they are so disciplined. It is very difficult to deal with them because they actually stemmed from the military years ago. Outlaw motorcycle gangs started in America when people disbanded after the war and were looking for some form of camaraderie similar to that which they had in the military. That is how motorcycle gangs actually started. As a consequence of that, if you have a look at their constitutions and their charters et cetera, they have a very regimented, hierarchical structure. They have rules that are like the army and the police. In fact, if you read a couple of the books on undercover issues in relation to them, they are frighteningly like the police, except their motives are different. They are very strictly controlled and disciplined.


    CHAIR—
    We hope so!


    Det. Supt Porter—
    I can assure you they are. I have read a couple of these books, and it is frightening when you look at the way they operate, their camaraderie, their esprit de corps, their attitudes, their discipline, their hierarchical structure, their constitutions and their rules. All of those things are very similar to a military structure. As a consequence, they are hard to deal with. They also have an attitude of, ‘We don’t care if we go to jail.’


    Mr WOOD—
    As a law enforcement agency, you would desperately need this information, because the last thing you would want to find is that you have a person in Western Australia who is connected to a bikie group and you do not realise he has actually been purchasing explosives. Surely you would want that information.


    Mr WOOD—
    I thought the idea about the SIM cards was great. What would you like to see done with SIM cards? Are all the bikies getting SIM cards and changing them daily? Is that what you are seeing?


    Det. Supt Porter—
    Yes. Most of the people who are involved in drug dealing or any other criminal activity where they are aware that we might be trying to track them through telephone intercepts or whatever will change their cards two, three, four times a day.

    CHAIR—
    The OMCs would know that x carrier does not cooperate with you, so if they are going to buy a phone they would buy it from x carrier.


    Det. Supt Porter—
    Indeed. Another reason why you need to legislate is because they buy their own telephone suppliers so that they can get those cards without having to answer the questions. The situation is that we need to have legislation to make sure that the actual supplier is required to comply.


    Mr WOOD—
    What do you mean by ‘they buy the supplier’?


    Det. Supt Porter—
    They run their own telephone supply company; their own retailer.
     
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  3. :lastyear:
    or decade.....but relevant all the same.
     
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