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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AUSTRAILIA - Victoria Police bikie blitz is welcome

FEW people will lose sleep over the very sensible policy of Victoria Police to bust bikies for everything from weapon and drug offences to breaches of alcohol laws.
There should be no place for bikie gxxgs in the suburbs of Melbourne, or elsewhere in Victoria.

Any action that disrupts their illegal activities - minor and major - is to be applauded.

Certainly applause is warranted for newly promoted Commander Doug Fryer's comments relating to recent police raids on Hells Angels and Comanchero clubhouses using liquor licensing warrants.

"We expect local football clubs to abide by licensing laws and bikie clubhouses shouldn't be treated any differently," he said.

The Herald Sun revealed in November that the bikie gxxg Taskforce Echo was using zero tolerance policing to disrupt the lives and operations of bikie gxxg members.

Commander Fryer has been one of the driving forces behind the tactic, which has seen bikies regularly breath-tested, stopped for traffic offences, made to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines and penalised for selling grog.

Taskforce Echo has also seized scores of firearms during bikie gxxg raids and laid dozens of charges relating to drug, violence and theft offences.

Commander Fryer is the modern face of policing in Victoria, a straight-talking copper who is not afraid to use all the laws at his disposal to make life tough for bikies.

He, and Victoria Police in general, deserves a pat on the back for declaring war on bikies.

The State Government should be doing everything in its power to help the force rid Victoria of bikies. Its plan to enable police to apply to have bikie or other gangs declared criminal organisations through the Supreme Court is a good one.

Once a gang is declared a criminal organisation, the court can ban the gang from operating and place a wide range of restrictions on its members.

Breaches of those restrictions will result in confiscation of assets and serious jail time. Three cheers to that.