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Qld bikie gangs set to give Labor support

QUEENSLAND'S outlawed bikie gangs are expected to swing their support behind Labor at the state election.

The government's controversial Vicious Lawlessness Disestablishment Act (VLAD) laws will be wound back under Labor, if it wins the next election.

This is despite Labor voting with the Liberal National Party to pass the laws in October 2013.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament last year the laws must change to safeguard the rights and freedoms of innocent Queenslanders.

"They have gone too far, affecting innocent Queenslanders whose only crime is to ride a motorcycle," she said.

She said the government had publicly acknowledged innocent riders were being affected by the gang crackdown.

The LNP stepped up the attack on Labor on Monday, accusing Labor of undoing 'huge reductions' in criminal gang numbers and activities, including murder, drug trafficking and exortion.

Acting Police Minister and Attorney-General John McVeigh said the LNP took a "stand against criminal gangs who thought they could shoot rivals and innocent people in shopping centres, brawl in our streets, deal drugs to our kids and blockade a police station without consequences.''

Mr McVeigh said since the laws were introduced 1,706 criminal gang participants had been arrested on 4,710 charges.

"There have also been 80 people arrested on 120 charges that have been alleged to be a Vicious Lawless Associate," Mr McVeigh said.

"Crimes associated with criminal gangs have also dropped."

New statistics show that between July 1, 2014 and November 30, 2014:

  • The rate of reported robbery is down 27 per cent, a drop of 185 offences.
  • The rate of reported extortion is down 35 per cent, a drop of 16 offences.
  • The rate of reported unlawful entry is down 20 per cent, a drop of 2,875 offences.
  • The rate of reported motor vehicle theft is down 19 per cent, a drop of 773 offences.

"We are also seeing greater community confidence in coming forward to report criminal gang members," Mr McVeigh said.

"Crime Stoppers has received 1,420 calls which has led to the arrest of 131 people. This means fewer innocent Queenslanders have had to suffer from the fear and intimidation of criminal gang members.

"Other states are now looking at following our lead, yet Labor wants to take Queensland back to the bad old days by repealing these strong and effective reforms.

"The opposition has no plan and has not released any policies to deal with criminal gangs.''

The Opposition plans to review the VLAD laws and replace them with new legislation that targets organised crime.

 

Topics:  bikies editors picks outlaw motocrycle gangs vlad laws



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