New laws will make it easier for NSW Police to tackle organised crime during raids on outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouses, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC announced today.
“NSW has the toughest organised crime laws in Australia and our Police will now be better equipped than ever to tackle dangerous outlaw bikie gangs,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will not tolerate criminal behaviour which undermines community safety.”
Under the new laws, Police executing a warrant on outlaw bikie clubhouses will have clear powers to:
- search anyone on site;
- compel any person to reveal their name and address; and
- compel people present at the venue to move on.
Mr MacDonald said the reforms will help Police in the Hunter region continue to break up outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“NSW Police have done a great job tackling outlaw motorcycle gangs in the Hunter region and these new laws will give them even more powers to keep our communities safe,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Outlaw gangs have no place in our society and we make no apologies for taking this tough stance.”
The legislative amendments, to be introduced into the Parliament in coming weeks, respond to the Ombudsman’s report on the Restricted Premises Act.
The NSW Government has accepted all the Ombudsman’s recommendations which will give Police greater clarity about their powers and responsibilities when raiding outlaw bikie gang clubhouses.
Police have been using the powers provided under the Restricted Premises Act, which was formerly known as the Disorderly Houses Act, to target outlaw bikie clubhouses for the past decade.
These powers were strengthened in 2013 to enhance the ability of Police to combat firearms-related and organised crime, with a focus on the activities of outlaw bikie gangs.
These powers are on top of a range of other tough measures available to Police to target outlaw bikie crime, including those set out below.
- Serious Crime Prevention Orders – to impose restrictions on people to disrupt their involvement in serious criminal activity.
- Public Safety Orders – to prevent people from attending places or events where they are expected to engage in violence or present a serious threat to public safety or security.
- Consorting laws – which carry a maximum three year prison term for people who continue to associate with convicted offenders after receiving an official warning from Police.
- Unexplained wealth laws – which place a burden on suspects to prove their income was lawfully acquired.
- Firearm Prohibition Orders – allowing Police to search, without warrant, premises or vehicles occupied by anyone subjected to the order to ensure compliance.
“Strike Force Raptor has dismantled numerous bikie-led drug and organised crime operations and is continuing to crack down on outlaw bikie violence,” said Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.
In April 2018, NSW Police successfully applied to the Supreme Court for Serious Crime Prevention Orders against 10 high-ranking members of the Finks and Nomads outlaw motorcycle gangs who were linked to gang-related violence across the Lower Hunter region.