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Bikies keep their heads down in Gladstone

CRACKDOWN: The writing was on the wall for the Black Uhlans Gladstone chapter. Outside there are no signs of club colours.
CRACKDOWN: The writing was on the wall for the Black Uhlans Gladstone chapter. Outside there are no signs of club colours. Campbell Gellie

CRIMINAL motorcycle gang members are still living in the Gladstone region, but police are confident you won't see them riding together anymore.

Capricornia district detective inspector Darrin Shadlow said police had "no problems" with members being in the community, but it was the club and member engagement in criminal offences they had worked to rid the region of.

Taskforce Maxima was established in October 2013 with new laws in response to a vicious bikie street brawl on the Gold Coast and several earlier shootings.

In the Capricornia region, 72 bikie members have been arrested and 169 charges have been laid.

Det Insp Shadlow wouldn't go into the specifics of the charges at a local level, but he did confirm there had been drug-related offences and possession of firearms offences.

There were two known bikie clubhouses in Gladstone - a Black Uhlans chapter on Hanson Rd and an Outlaws chapter in Enterprise St in Boyne Island.

"One of the buildings is no longer there (Hanson Rd) and we do regular checks in relation to the other building," Det Insp Shadlow said.

"Attending those proscribed places is an offence for any criminal motorcycle gang member and we will continue to police that."

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant David Cove of the Criminal Gangs Intelligence Team said the clubs had a regimented structure similar to the military.

"They have a set of rules and breaking of which will result in a fine or punish by a physical attack. They are pretty rigid in enforcing those rules," he said.

"It is expected when someone leaves a club that they put a retirement date on their club tattoos, or make it obvious they are no longer with the club," he said.

"If they leave on a bad standing club members will see to it for them, and the tattoos will be burnt off or cut out with an angle grinder."

The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act was introduced to show bikies that as a participant of a criminal organisation they would be sentenced to more jail time than an ordinary citizen if found guilty of the same crimes.

Across the state, 26 bikie groups were declared "criminal organisations" under changes to the century-old criminal code.

The addition of the Criminal Organisations Disruptions Law to the code brought about rules that meant three or more members of a so-called criminal gang could not be together in a public place.

Members were banned from clubhouses and the recruiting of new members into the criminal gang was not allowed.

The taskforce was formed under the edict of Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and heralded as the squad to "disrupt, dismantle and eliminate criminal motorcycle gangs" from Queensland.

The team of 90 dedicated police officers in Taskforce Maxima have arrested 1691 gang members and their close associates, laying 4668 charges.

Topics:  bikies cmg gladstone police vlad



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