Police have made no apologies for the treatment of outlaw motorcycle club members which have been described as “nothing short of bullying and harassment”.
In a post on Facebook, Danielle Seadon of Launceston said her family was harassed by police as they tried to mourn her brother-in-law.
Ms Seadon rejected police suggestions that members of motorcycle clubs were involved in crime.
Australian Federal Police, Tasmania Police and officers from NSW conducted a number of operations coinciding with an Outlaws Motorcycle Club memorial ride on Saturday.
“I know a lot of these people personally, including my own husband and father in law. These people are law abiding, hard working, taxpayers, who do not have criminal records and are also respectable family men,” Ms Seadon wrote.
“The way that a grieving family and friends were treated was an absolute disgrace!
“My son, nieces, nephew and even grandparents were intimidated and harassed.”
Ms Seadon was critical of the way the police and media conducted themselves during the memorial ride.
“A day that was supposed to be about paying respect to our loved one was turned into a scaremongering circus by the police,” she said.
“This extravaganza cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and myself and my family a huge amount of stress at an already incredibly tough time.
“We should have been focusing on grieving and commemorating the one year memorial of my beautiful brother in law and instead we were jumping through their hoops.
“They harassed and followed us for the entire day and they even stooped as low as to follow us to the cemetery.”
Assistant Police Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said intelligence held by police linked outlaw motorcycle clubs including the Outlaws, Rebels, Devils Henchmen, Black Uhlans and Bandidos “to the manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs, firearms offences and the use and threats of violence to protect their way of life”.
“They are not, as they would like you to believe, recreational motorcycle clubs,” Assistant Commissioner Higgins said.
“The criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle clubs distinguish them from other recreational motorcycle groups who gather purely to socialise and ride motorcycles.
“Unlike these other bodies, outlaw motorcycle clubs self-identify as ‘one-percenters’, their view being that if 99 per cent of the community are law abiding, they are the one per cent who are not.
“Outlaw motorcycle club jackets usually carry a patch saying one per cent to reflect this fact.”
Assistant Commissioner Higgins said in recent weeks alone outlaw bikie members had been charged with offences.
He said these included:
- An Outlaws senior member charged with trafficking ICE (speed) twice in the past three weeks as well as other serious drug charges.
- Another senior member in the past three weeks charged with serious firearms and family violence offences. Firearms including a pistol, SKS assault rifle (semi-automatic), shotgun, ammunition and explosives were also seized from another residence linked to the Outlaws.
- A member of the Outlaws chapter in Hobart was charged with a serious crime of violence (aggravated armed robbery).
“We continue to work with law enforcement and Commonwealth agencies including the Australian Federal Police’s National Anti-Gangs Squad to target OMCG members in terms of criminal activity, anti-social or intimidating behaviour or breaches of our traffic laws,” Assistant Commissioner Higgins said.
Laws banning outlawed motor cycle club members from wearing insignia came into effect in Tasmania last week.
Source: The Advocate