National centre to deliver dirt on bikie gangs
A NATIONAL one-stop shop for intelligence on bikie gangs will be created to help police stay one step ahead of illicit activities and target international bikie gangs attempting to enter Australia.
The move comes as the Victorian Government follows Queensland's lead with a strike team to take down bikie gangs in their state.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the national centre would involve placing the Australian Anti-Gangs Intelligence Centre within the Australian Crime Commission, the hub of Australia's criminal intelligence holdings.
He said strong intelligence was key to helping police agencies keep on top of gang activities.
Mr Keenan said the intelligence hub would also team up with federal police and Customs officers to develop a clearer intelligence picture of outlaw motorcycle activity at the border.
He said the Victorian strike team was part of the $64 million National Anti-Gangs Squad.
Mr Keenan said the Victorian strike team would build on the "success" of the Queensland strike team, set up following violent clashes on the Gold Coast last month.
The team will comprise officers from Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office who will work with the existing Organised Crime Taskforce in Melbourne to create an intelligence hub on the state's motorcycle gangs.
"What we are seeing is a new and unprecedented level of co-operation between Australian law-enforcement agencies and their state colleagues to target gang-related crime," Mr Keenan said.
"These gangs are the public face of organised crime in Australia, responsible for the illicit drug trade, vehicle rebirthing, firearms trafficking, money laundering, extortion, prostitution, property crime and corruption."
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said outlaw motorcycle gangs had no place in Victoria and his government had introduced tough anti-bikie legislation to ensure they had nowhere to hide.
"We do not accept, and we will not have, outlaw motorcycle gangs involved in drugs and extortions and illegal activities in our great state of Victoria."
A similar strike team is expected to be announced in NSW soon.
The Queensland Government's crackdown on criminal motorcycle gangs has netted 184 people on 362 offences.