Bikie says blitz has let crime flourish and ice flood in
A SUNSHINE Coast bikie says he is living in fear and police have allowed ice onto Queensland streets because they are too busy targeting bikies.
In a submission to the taskforce reviewing the state's bikie laws, the Rebels gang member accused police of ignoring other crimes as they concentrated their efforts on bikies.
The Rebel, whose name was redacted from the submission, said he made the submission "out of fear for my family and many other families' future".
"The targeting of organised crime is essential to the safety of all Queenslanders and I believe has the full support of all Queenslanders. Anyone involved in crime would be happy for the police to spend all their time and resources on anything but the real organised crime for obvious reasons," he said in the submission.
"Since the targeting of bikies has begun, crime has risen and the drug ice is in plague proportion in our towns and cities. This is a devastating drug and needs urgent attention, but while police are focusing on bikies the real organised crime goes unchecked."
The man told the Queensland Government Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation he had run a tattoo parlour for 15 years until police refused to grant him a licence - due, he said, to his "association with the Rebels Motorcycle Club" - after changes to the licensing laws in late 2013.
Police are standing by the laws, submitting to the taskforce they have helped curb bikie criminal activity.
"The QPS considers that the legislation put in place in 2013 has been effective for the purposes for which it was enacted," the police submission stated.
"For example, OMCG are no longer using their public presence in a mass way to intimidate and facilitate criminal offending."
The taskforce is due to report back to the Queensland Parliament by March 31.
BIT OF HISTORY
Today the "outlaw" in outlaw motorcycle clubs refers to the fact the gangs have been made illegal. But when the clubs were first established in the US, an outlaw club was one the American Motorcycle Association did not recognise.
Gangs associated with heavy drinking, fighting and crime were originally called "one-percenters", after the AMA allegedly said 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens.
Although the AMA has said it has no record of making that statement, gangs such as the Rebels, Hells Angels and Bandidos still have a "1%" badge on their jackets.