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Anti-bikie laws ‘hamper police’

BillByrne_ProfileQueensland police are in jeopardy of losing the support and goodwill of motorcycle riders over pressure to enact new powers under the so-called “world’s toughest anti-bikie laws”.
Under the laws, innocent recreational riders have been harassed by police and mistakenly intercepted.
While tabling in Parliament an anti-bikie laws petition started on this website, Shadow Minister for Police Bill Byrne said he feared police would lose the respect of riders which would make their job more difficult.
“Without significant community support, the police are unable to do their jobs effectively,” he told Parliament.
“Police rely on snippets of information provided by the public to compile intelligence profiles which may ultimately lead to the arrests of organised crime figures. Good policing needs majority community support and good will.
“If members of the public lose faith with the government, they will be less likely to provide the assistance that police require to effectively combat organised crime. The situation will degenerate further into a them-and-us scenario, at times created for no good reason.
“I fear the pressure from this government for members of the Queensland Police Service to get results has led to the wasteful and, frankly, unhelpful targeting of legitimate and lawful motorbike riders.
20131118-203856.jpg“It would be a great shame if legitimate motorcycling enthusiasts lost faith and decided not to pass on vital pieces of information to Crime Stoppers or the police.
“So far, the new laws have seen over 10,950 people sign a petition against the discriminatory targeting of lawful motorcycle riders,” he said, referring to the petition started on this site.
“That was generated in just over two weeks following the passing of the first tranche of the VLAD legislation. The petition was presented to me when it contained around 10,000 signatures.”
He pointed out that the Police Minister and senior police met with representatives of recreational motorcycle groups last month to “broker some sort of peace deal” and prevent police harassment.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart suggested groups register rides of 12 or more.
A poll on this website has rejected registering rides by an overwhelming majority of 93% (615 respondents).20131118-203846.jpg
Meanwhile, examples of harassment have continued to flood in from readers, a fact acknowledged by the Shadow Police Minister despite the fact that the government has spent $800,000 to tell riders they would not be targeted by the new VLAD laws.
“I note reports suggesting the police commissioner has indicated that inexperienced police officers were targeting the wrong people and that it was a difficult task to identify outlaw motorcycle gang members without their colours,” he told Parliament.
“If that is the case, the minister needs to beef up the intelligence and training functions to better combat organised crime.”
He then referred to several articles about harassment published first on this website: “Most members of this parliament would have been contacted by legitimate motorcyclists about things such as the raid on the Vietnam Veterans clubhouse, where Vietnam veterans were targeted; the targeting of funeral processions; charity bike riders being refused service at a pub; female bike riders on sports bikes being asked to remove jackets to expose any gang tattoos; firefighters being searched by the police because they look like bikies; and an elderly female bike rider being targeted.
1404823_693800943964094_94456780_o“We know that recreational riders have left their bikes in the garages. I warned the government about the dramatic effect that this sort of crackdown will have on some small business.
“The turnover at some cafes is down by 30%, which they attribute to the VLAD laws.
“I suggest the government takes note of the petition and takes a moment to appreciate the situation, without dismissing it out of hand.”
Hear hear.

  1. Its NOT just inexperienced police pulling people over and generallty harassing them! Its also experienced sargeants and senior constables doing it as well, all the time! The police need to stop making excuses.

  2. Its not only Bike riders but people from all walks of life that see the unjust actions with this law that will refuse to help police in any way. Their eyes and ears of the street will be gone.

  3. ‘Intelligence’ is a process where information is gathered and analysed which allows focused investigative action to be directed. If police continue to gather large amounts of irrelevant information and simply ‘collate’ their data the whole system will collapse under its own bureaucratic weight – police are just an arm of, in this case, an inept government.

  4. Too little too late I am afraid and yes the bikes are being parked up and lists of places that have refused service are being compiled and won’t ever be used again
    The shadow police minister left out the “make believe” infringement notices handed out by police (of ALL ranks) when a rider does not provide any information & these may take weeks before arriving in the mail and will be fought in court.
    The police will receive nothing (either respect nor information) from us after this debacle now or in the future as we are just “collateral damage” to them.
    They will merely get name, address and licence and NOTHING MORE.
    We are tired and over the “JACKBOOT” to our throat over these silly VLAD laws and ALL stand united.
    As for the charities that we helped..they have lost out big time and will continue to do so in the future as money now goes towards the UMCQ for the High Court Challenge fund.

  5. It’s not only bike riders getting harrassed. I am 60 years old, was driving my car & was pulled over because a close relative was a member of a MC over 10 years ago.

  6. Congratulations Mark on getting the petition presented to parliament. These LNP boofheads have made it obvious they already ‘know’ what Queenslanders want and that means that what the 10,000 signatories want will be ignored. But at least we are on the hansard record.

  7. Okay I am an American so you can probably tell me to mind my own business, but I ride and I will be damned if I will tell the cops anything regarding another rider. As for the 1%ers I move in some of the same circles and I interact with them socially but otherwise mind my business. The cops get enough in taxes and are supposedly professional. They can figure it out.

    1. America – land of the free, home of the brave. I’m sure you guys wouldn’t stand for the sort of freedom-trampling we’ve been copping here just lately. I welcome all our overseas friends to comment. When it comes to motorcycling, there are no international boundaries! Thanks for your support.

      1. We had/have some of the same crap happening in some states here, especially the overly Liberal ones like New York (go figure. I thought liberals were all about freedom). They were having bike-only traffic checks where they would run the license, registration and person under the guise of looking for drugs and stolen bikes. ABATE and several conservative politicians are helping to fight it. Keep up fight and never give up.

  8. Wasn’t VLAD the name of a blood-suckering vampire? Sounds about right and sounds like you Aussies are having the same problem with an overbearing government as we are in the US. Stand strong against tyranny.

  9. It’s way out of hand now !!!! – even NORMAL people with TATTOO’S are being targeted !! & for what !!??? JUST for having tattoo’s !!! this had become a severe case of discrimination … & unfortunately i used to be so proud to be Australian & nowadays since these new “Bikie Laws” have come into effect , i am just so ashamed to be Australian now ….

  10. Last time I checked the Police was a service NOT a force !!
    & what about a bike group called “the blue liners” ???? Bet they are not being harassed ,,,,,

  11. Just imagine the chaos if we all obeyed their rules. Pandemonium! Their systems alone will never be able to handle the overload. Imagine how hampered the police on duty would feel then.

  12. Having spent the last two weeks riding around and listening to the many shop and pub owners, it is very obvious that these Laws are heavily impacting their businesses. An example:- The one locally-owned shop in Widgee has seen an estimated drop of around 30-40% already as the Sunday roads remain clear of the many groups who regularly rode and stopped there for food, drinks and fuel. These laws are hurting a lot of additional people, not just we riders.

  13. Having worked for many years in the motor industry and seen the injustices handed to P platers on a daily basis, I’d be happy to front court and tell all. From cops taking payouts at a club I worked at in Kings Cross to girls being told to put out or cop fines or harassment, to kids being told to sell their cars or bikes or get out of town. The stories are endless. Riot. I’ll be in the second row. Bring it on.

    1. Darren, I can understand the justification for your anger, but the Freedom Ride rally organiser specifically planned the event for a Sunday so as not to disrupt traffic and to show the media and public the “reasonable” and “responsible” face of motorcycling, not to encourage a riot. It was a mini-riot (the Gold Coast bikie brawl) that started the knee-jerk response from the government. We don’t need to give them more fuel for more draconian laws.

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