‘Bikie’ laws lead to increased crime

Anti-VLAD rally Queensland Police crime

As the deadline approaches at the end of next month for the long-awaited review of Queensland’s consorting laws, or so-called anti-bikie laws, a former detective has shown they are not having the desired effect on organised crime.

Queensland Police are asking the government review for the current Vicious Lawless Associates Disestablishment (VLAD) laws to remain in place, claiming they have been successful in reducing organised crime and “bikie” numbers.

However, Terry Goldsworthy, a former Gold Coast detective and now Bond University criminology associate professor, says the Queensland VLAD laws of 2013 have actually increased some organised crime offences and the number of “bikie gang” members.

He says figures from the Queensland Police Department show drug trafficking offences in the state have doubled in the time since the VLAD laws have been imposed.

He also points out in an article in The Conversation that the number of “bikie gang” members has increased by 34% since 2012 to about 6000 across the nation.

So far, only one person has been successfully convicted under the VLAD laws and he was not a member of an outlawed motorcycle club or had anything to do with motorcycles. Meanwhile, 2573 offenders have been arrested on 8582 charges with no convictions and in many cases no police evidence offered.

LAZY POLICINGAnti-VLAD rally Queensland Police crime

If it sounds like “lazy policing”, that is exactly what the Queensland Law Society predicted would be the outcome of the controversial VLAD laws:

Another risk is that the proposed law will lead to lazy policing, where mere criminal intelligence, as opposed to proper evidence, is required to bring criminal consequences upon citizens.

For the innocent motorcyclist, this could manifest itself as police harassment via discriminatory licence and vehicle checks.

Terry says the anti-consorting laws amount to “policing someone because of who they are, not on the basis of any criminal activity they may be doing. They aim to pre-empt any offences.”

So, in effect, if you socialise with, or look like, an archetypal bikie (whatever that is) you can expect to be treated like a criminal by the police.

Terry says similar anti-consorting laws have been in place in the Northern Territory since 2006, in NSW since 2012, and Victoria and South Australia since 2015.

Yet he points out that the NT and all states, except Tasmania, already had suitable serious crimes laws in place to help police tackle organised crime, but they had rarely been used.

“What Australia needs is informed debate, removed from the strident moral panic being propagated by the media and law enforcement agencies,” Terry says.

“We need to implement criminal justice policy from a strong evidence base with a view to establishing best practice. This is lacking in the current rush to embrace criminal association laws.”

7 Comments

  1. How stupid and ill informed can you lot be! As a crime against the State drug trafficking offences have doubled because a large number of OMC gang members have been arrested since the introduction of VLAD. If there are no arrests there is no evidence of the crime. Don’t believe me, just see the reports of bikie arrests every day in the media. The police don’t seem to be lazy to me. Anything that law abiding bikers can do to help rid our community of OMC gangs the better. Every weekend hundreds of bikers, including me and a lot of my friends, continue to ride around the State. Funny but we are yet to be harassed by the police. The same cannot be said about OMC gangs who regularly threatened and intimidated the community, took part in shootouts in shopping centres over drug debts and turf wars and claimed they owned and ran the Gold Coast. Even Ulysses members had to get permission from the bikies for a ride. In my experience if you don’t ride like and idiot and are not associated with OMC groups or criminality then you have nothing to fear from our police. Get a life!

  2. And i thought it was 2016 ….. Yet Australia seems to be in the Dark ages where Bikers are concerned ….. I’ve always wanted to ride Australia …… But these so-called laws discriminating against anyone who rides a Bike has Put me off ever doing this now ….. Would I ever visit Australia ……Definitely NOT !

    1. Didn’t you read my previous comment? The laws have nothing to do with bikers.
      But if you count yourself as one of the one percenters please stay home we don’t want you having an all expenses paid holiday in one of our gaols.

  3. The silly thing about the VLAD laws is that there are probably better and more effective laws left over from the Joh era and if they weren’t so lazy they may have opened a law book and found them.
    The sad thing about the VLAD laws is they have little to do with bikies. Too many people stupidly fell for the anti bikie rhetoric and failed to see that the VLAD laws are wholly and solely an attack on the civil liberties of all citizens not a criminal few as stated. The laws as written could be used against opposition parties journalists academics and any club or association that earns the ire of the ruling party. Fortunately we are not living in a place like North Korea, but having laws that would not be out of place there is very dangerous.
    And while we are on the subject of unconstitutional and un just laws QLD also have a little gem that is meant to keep people from exercising their rights to take a matter to court.
    I don’t know if this applies to any other maters but if you try to take a speeding fine to court they threaten you with an extra $4500 fine for doing so.

  4. Couldn’t have said it better, Tony.
    Quote from Lawrence Springborg “I don’t know if they were wearing colours or NOT”
    Does Springborg have a vision impairment called “visionarseus VLADus” ?
    VLAD laws have really worked, Lawrence, 1 conviction of a guy NOT a bikie or having anything to do with a club.
    2573 offenders arrested on 8582 charges with NO CONVICTIONS !
    DRUG trafficking offences have DOUBLED since introduction of VLAD laws !
    Yep, Lawrence, VLAD is working real well ! LMFAO !
    200 detectives investigating BIKIES
    less than 10 detectives investigating “child sex explotation”( PEADOPHILES) , are the cops scared they might have to afew of their own or some politicians ???

  5. Goldsworthy continually shows the QPS resort to lies and falsified statistics to justify a blatant and unwarranted attack on our civil rights. Have no doubt the attacks will continue AND worsen if the laws are not repealed. Newman gave QPS carte blanche when it came to ” bikies” and the QPS and the LNP consider ANYONE on a motorcycle fair game. Any bodythat needs a reminder should view Jamie Evans’ video on Youtube or consider the words of Lawrence Springborg, leader of the LNP in Queensland, “There are hundreds of “bikies” riding around the Gold Coast right now, I saw them on the weekend, I don’t know if they are wearing colours or not, but have no fear, we will keep our boot on their throats” . think about it.

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