News

Bikie complaints 'a sign new laws are working'

TOUGHER legislation on bikie clubs has allowed more people to come forward with claims against gangs, a top police officer says.

Wide Bay Burnett Detective Inspector Bruce McNab said so-called anti-bikie laws introduced by the government allowed victims of crimes to come forward without fear.

The claim came as a former Rebels Motorcycle Club leader hit out at police after they released allegations that underage girls were lured to the Hervey Bay Rebels clubhouse in 2013 before they were drugged and gang members took turns in having sex with them.

Mike Smith, a former sergeant-at-arms of the Hervey Bay Rebels motorcycle chapter labelled the police claims "filthy".

"If they've got enough evidence to make an allegation, they should have enough evidence to charge somebody or at least interview somebody," he said.

"The allegations are filthy because they can charge you and not have to provide evidence until you go to court and that can take two or three years."

But Insp McNab said the fact that people were coming forward was evidence the new legislation was working.

"What we do know is since the change in legislation, we've had more people coming forward to talk, so we would encourage more people to come forward to tell us what they know about it," Insp McNab said.

"What we're seeing now is many of these criminal groups have been disempowered by current legislation and that means that victims ... who have never come forward before for fear of retribution now feel that they can come forward safely."

"In this case, people who would never have come forward before to talk about the fact that sexual abuse against children was taking place in a club house now feel safe enough to come forward. That's a win for this community."

Topics:  bikie gangs, crime, hervey bay, police, rebels, vlad



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