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Are police vilifying bikies?


Police claiming all bikies are criminals is vilifying them in a similar way as saying prostitutes cannot be rape victims, says former detective and now Bond Uni criminology lecturer Terry Goldsworthy.

His comments follow the discovery of the body of Comanchero member Shane Ross at a Gold Coast park.

Terry says police commentary over Ross’s alleged murder represent vilification.

Queensland Police Superintendent Brendan Smith is quoted as saying “bikie lifestyle carries its own risk”.

“Anyone who thinks a bikie is a motorcycle enthusiast is kidding themselves – they are criminals and criminal behaviour is hazardous,” Supt Smith is quoted as saying.

Vilifying bikies

Terry says this kind of statement creates “obvious” problems.

“The data clearly tells us that bikies are not all criminals,” he says.

“They generally do not carry out criminal activity within the auspices of the gang.

“Being a criminal does not mean that you should be treated any less as a victim.

“This kind of thought process harks back to the logic that a prostitute cannot be raped, or the short skirt justification for rape etc.

“When you vilify the status of the victim you are intentionally suggesting that they are somehow to blame for the offence committed against them and the act is minimised. Every victim deserves to be treated the same.”

Riders vilified

Riders protest the laws at the January 26 rally in Roma St
Riders protest VLAD laws

In 2017, Terry also claimed the tough, so-called “anti-bikie” VLAD laws in Queensland were not the success the police claimed.

As we found during the height of the original VLAD laws, riders wearing club “colours” were mistakenly vilified as “outlaw bikies” by both the public and police.

Vilifying anyone because of their association is not only careless, but can be dangerous.

Criminals should only be classed as criminal for their actions, not because of their membership of a group.

Similarly, all police aren’t criminals because one officer breaks the law.



  1. There are more criminals by % in the QLD police force than any so called bikie gang & the only difference is the Bikies don’t get it covered up & victims paid off by the Govt

    1. Speaking from personal experience I agree with Robert Jeffery – but the unofficial Police motto is : Oderint dum metuant. = “Let them hate, so long as they fear – & the Police wonder why they are Friendless in their personal lives & Deprecated in the professional (sic) life. Karma sorts it all out in the end – ride safe.

  2. Many Bikies who have been in these clubs for decades have clean criminal records . They dont tolerate drugs in their chapters , or in their own family . Not saying they are flamin saints , but none of us are perfect . Sure there are criminal thugs in clubs , but the same could be said about any large group of individuals . Police and Gov tar them all with the same brush , both for political gain . Its bullshit saying they are all bad . Many club members have lost huge financial reward , when Govs decide arbitrarily they can’t own this or that business . They may have built the business up from nothing So its like saying to a politician you can’t have a certain type of business , because there have been many dodgy Politicians . Lets not forget the brotherhood of the club scene . Many closer to their brothers than family members . There are laws in place to desl with all the crimes they commit . But don’t make just being a club .rmber a crime . This is Australia , not a Nazi Germany .

  3. Fair commentary by Terry Goldsworthy however being an ex detective from the Queensland Police, I’m wondering what impact it will have apart from this article. What is forgotten is the number of former military personnel who join clubs after finishing active service because of the brotherhood & similarities to the services. One day they are hero’s for defending their country and then for no other reason other than they have joined a motorcycle club are vilified and called criminals. There are many men riding in clubs who have jobs & families but who have a love of riding motorcycles. That is not criminal. Yes, there are some but that applies to every occupation, police included.
    Another factor which is ignored is the negativity impact on motorcyclists when riding alone in particular when there has been negative media coverage. Many motorists see motorcyclists as fair game & that all are criminals and therefore it’s okay to cut them off or generally give them a hard time when on the roads. This does not just apply to young hoons either.

  4. “Are police vilifying bikies?” Undoubtedly Yes!

    As an unsolicited advocate for all 1% members and clubs – neither a member nor an associate of any of those clubs, I have undertaken a comprehensive study of the culture ranging from the supportive Arthur Veno “The Brotherhoods” to the dogmatic Adam Shand, “Outlaws” and everything in between such as undercover ATF Agent William Queen, “Under and Alone” and CI’s such as Charles Falco and George Rowe, “Gods of Mischief” etc. There is no doubt that some members of outlaw clubs are heavily involved in criminal activity. It is equally true that not all 1% ers are involved in crime.

    Regular subscribers to Motorbike Writer would have seen a video playing on the bottom right of screen where police warned that if any patched member were found among the charity riders all riders would be stopped and searched and refused permission to proceed. The video is self-incriminating of not just vilification but in clear breach of the UN Rule of Law. But one should not be surprised about that because NSW Police have openly ‘bragged’ that in order to “harass and disrupt” bikies they even enforce and issue parking fines. As an ordinary citizen try getting your local police to sort out a parking problem for you. They won’t do it, they’ll tell you it’s a Council matter and they’ll fob you off. So clearly, in breach of the UN Rule of Law there is arbitrary and unequal application of the Law. And since when is it legal to harass people? One law and application for the police and another interpretation for bikies = vilification.

    Coming from a motorcycle ministry perspective seeking government support for rehabilitation programs specifically tailored to the needs of bikies under ‘Control Orders’ it soon becomes apparent that there is no political support for rehabilitation – even when the proposed rehab program would provide criminals a pathway out of crime, would not just save the taxpayer money but generate income and employment and provide a community service to women in particular. The sad reality is that the police do the bidding of their political masters who have a vested interest in vilifying bikies as a means of demonstrating to the masses that they are ‘tough on crime’ in order to try to win votes. SA is in the grip of a crime epidemic – 36 hotel robberies so far this year. Nightly arsons, bashings, home invasions, car theft etc. with no evidence that the bulk of the crime is bikie related. Indeed, former SA Police Commissioner Mal Hyde is quoted as saying: ‘bikie related crime is over-revved’.

    From a Christian perspective many of those who have enacted and enforce the various draconian anti-bikie laws such as VLAD and SOCCA etc are living in a fools paradise of hypocrisy and are in many respects worse than those they seek to condemn because ultimately they will judged by the measure they use cf Matthew 7:2 and condemned themselves cf Romans 14:11f.

    While no form of criminal activity can be condoned neither can injustice be condoned just because some of the brotherhoods contain criminals. Society and the rights of all are ultimately diminished if WE let this INJUSTICE and HYPOCRISY go unchallenged.

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