Opinion

Target law-breakers rather than bikies or risk police state

BIKIES, bikers or just plain motorcyclists and their clubs have been around for a long time.

Riding a motorbike is seen as a bit exciting - even a bit wild - but very few who ride motorbikes are criminals.

It is true that biker groups do exist - some could be described as outlaw bikie gangs and some do attract undesirables - even criminals.

But so do many other organisations - it's a fact of life.

The introduction of Draconian laws or stiffer penalties for existing laws does little to deter criminals or reduce crime rates.

And it is good to see the police proactive in being out and about displaying a public presence.

But simply targeting a minority group is not the answer.

There are criminals on our roads but statistically only a few of them ride motorbikes.

If they are breaking the law - and we all have seen it - riding down the middle of the road, passing in dangerous situations or blocking the road - they should be called to account.

But if they are simply riding within the law, then that is their business.

If there are criminal activities going on at any residence or business, the police should be right on to it - and it may require more effort, more work, more community engagement and more resources.

The reality is that current targeting of motorcyclists comes from politicians reacting to public opinion.

It's all a balance - we don't want crooks roaming our streets but we don't want to live in a police state either.

Topics:  bikies, gladstone, motorcycle club, opinion, police, rob black



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