There are about 270 fully-patched members of outlaw bikie gangs in Tasmania, according to police. (ABC News: Henry Zwartz)
The first outlaw motorcycle gangs members have been charged under Tasmania’s new anti-consorting laws and are expected to face court in the coming weeks.
- Police allege two members of the Bandidos were caught with criminals they’ve been specially told not to associate with twice
- The men are the first to be charged under anti-consorting laws introduced in 2018
- Tasmania Police said they have issued 203 official warning notices to 28 individuals since the laws were passed
The two men are both members of the Bandidos, a so-called outlaw motorcycle club, based in the north-west of the state.
Each of the men had been issued anti-consorting notices under the state’s new laws, which were passed in September last year.
The legislation makes it illegal for a convicted offender to consort with another convicted offender within five years of being given an official warning notice.
The two gang members have each allegedly been caught with criminals they’ve been specially told not to associate with twice.
Police say they have issued 131 warning notices in the south and 72 in the north-west. (ABC News)
Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said it was an important step in the fight against outlaw motorcycle gangs in Tasmania.
“We don’t want them consorting together,” he said.
“These are particular people who have criminal convictions, that’s why they’ve been identified, and by consorting it gives them greater power.
“We want to split them up, we want them not to hang around together, and we don’t want these clubs to be established in this state at all.”
Assistant Commissioner Higgins said the laws were “significant as a tool in allowing us to really get in there to split them up”.
“Once the [anti]-insignia legislation is fully enacted, that will be a further tool where they won’t be able to wear their supporter colours which are used to intimidate members of the public.”
Tasmania Police have issued 203 official warning notices to 28 individuals since the laws were passed in September last year.
Of those, 131 have been issued in the south of the state and 72 in the north-west.
Laws banning the wearing of colours or the uniform of certain clubs were also passed late last year. That list of clubs is expected have been drawn up by early next year.
Police closely watch interstate Bandidos members during a visit to northern Tasmania. (ABC News: Henry Zwartz)
Police have foreshadowed that once those laws are fully enacted they will be moving immediately enforce them.
“Outlaw motorcycle groups are not welcome in Tasmania,” Assistant Commissioner Higgins said.
“The established groups are not welcome and the rides coming to Tasmania are not welcome either … we will do everything in our power to make sure we curb the behaviour and ensure that the message is that we don’t want them here.”
Since Tasmania’s anti-bikies laws were passed, at least one new club — the Diablos, understood to be a splinter group from other more established gangs — has set up in Tasmania.
Police said there are now nine so-called OMCGs represented in Tasmania, also including the Bandidos, the Black Uhlans, the Devils Henchmen, the Iron Horseman, the Nomads, the Outlaws, the Rebels, and the Satans Riders.
The biggest in terms of membership is the Outlaws with 93 members, followed by the Rebels with 63 members.
In all, there are now more than 270 fully-patched members of outlaw bikie gangs in Tasmania, according to police intelligence.