A phony war: Bikies aren’t the only problem on Queensland’s Glitter Strip

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Bikies have become the poster boys of crime in Queensland. In the past week we’ve seen the announcement of a spartan, bikies-only jail likened to Guantanamo Bay, tough new laws rushed through a marathon session of state parliament overnight, and a constant stream of news about “the war on bikies”.

It was all sparked by last month’s brawl between Finks and Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang members at a Gold Coast restaurant. But what really sparked public outrage was that after the brawl, bikies laid seige to a major police station in Southport.

From 1994 to 2010, I worked as a detective on the Gold Coast, in charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch at Burleigh Heads. So I was as shocked as anyone to see the TV images of the police station under siege - not just that the bikies would be so brazen, but also that the local police appeared unable to respond.

However, the Queensland government’s rapid response with new far-reaching and unprecedented laws does not match the scale of the crime threat posed by bikies on the Gold Coast, and risks undermining some basic principles of the criminal justice system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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