Labor’s soft approach to organised crime is akin to rolling out the red carpet and welcoming bikie gangs and other criminal thugs back to Queensland.
It began with another farcical Labor review, with terms of reference designed to “repeal and replace” the LNP laws that were working to make Queenslanders safer.
The problem with Labor’s response is highlighted by their record – tough talk but laws that led to no criminal organisations being declared and gang crime flourishing. Labor are heavy on rhetoric but soft on crime.
Labor’s softly, softly approach is putting the safety of Queensland families at risk.
We are unapologetic about our strong stance on organised crime and keeping Queenslanders safe.
In 2012, an innocent woman was shot in the crossfire of a bikie turf war while doing her shopping at Robina on the Gold Coast. In September 2013, 50 Bandidos started a brawl in a Broadbeach restaurant on a Friday night in front of families dining with their children during the school holidays. They then laid siege to the local police station demanding their bikie mates be let out. Eighteen people were arrested and seven injured including four police officers.
The community rightly demanded a strong and swift response and the LNP Government acted. In government, the LNP introduced the nation’s toughest organised crime laws, which were then copied by other states such as South Australia.
The result was a dramatic reduction in crime across the Gold Coast and Queensland. Criminal gangs fled interstate and overseas and the laws were the first of their kind to be upheld in the High Court.
OUR REAL PLAN
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will restore the laws that were working to keep families safe. By ensuring the Queensland Police Service and Crime and Corruption Commission have the tools they need to effectively tackle organised crime we will build safe and liveable communities. This includes reinstating five key reforms that underpinned the LNP’s approach:
Stop, Search and Detain Powers
Allowing a police officer who reasonably suspects a person is a participant in a criminal organisation to stop, search and detain that person without warrant.
Ensuring that any person who is in a criminal organisation and is knowingly present in a public place with two or more persons who are participants in a criminal organisation, commits an offence. Minimum penalty is six months, maximum is three years.
3. Keep Clubhouses Closed
Ensuring that any person who is a participant in a criminal organisation and enters, or attempts to enter, a prescribed place commits an offence. Minimum penalty is six months, maximum is three years.
4. CCC Coercive Powers
Restoring strong coercive powers to ensure that immediate response hearings are an effective law enforcement tool and stronger penalties are in place for any contempt.
5. Stronger Bail Laws
If the defendant is a participant in a criminal organisation, the court or police officer must refuse to grant bail unless the defendant shows cause why custody is not justified.
The only way to effectively deal with organised crime is to have tough laws and proper resources targeted at busting up organised crime – whether the criminals are bikie gangs, paedophile rings or underworld crime bosses.