Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

'We'll Get Tougher on Crime'; Government Vows to Fight Bikie Gang Violence

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

'We'll Get Tougher on Crime'; Government Vows to Fight Bikie Gang Violence

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Calcino APN NEWSDESK

THE NSW Government's pledge to introduce UK-style serious crime prevention orders to fight bikie gang violence has been dismissed as "nothing more than talk" by Labor.

Premier Mike Baird announced a range of new laws to ban "would-be troublemakers" from attending places or events and increased police clout to confiscate criminals' assets.

Police would use the powers to prevent retaliatory attacks between bikie gangs, complementing existing consorting laws that restrict communication between convicted criminals.

"Police need powers to respond quickly and effectively to organised crime. This package delivers," Mr Baird said.

"We want to close the loopholes that serious criminals exploit to continue their criminal behaviour."

Lawbreakers who contravene the orders could face up to five years' jail.

Police Minister Stuart Ayres said penalties would also be increased for money laundering offences dealing with the proceeds of crime.

"Criminals who hide their money in assets like cars, jet-skis, homes -- we are coming after you," he said.

"We are going to put the value of those proceeds into crime-fighting techniques and equipment and we are going to give that money back to people who have been victims of crime."

Legally obtained property used for a serious crime activity could also be confiscated under the changes.

"This package ensures organised criminals will get no respite in NSW," Mr Ayres said.

Labor's shadow minister for police Steve Whan said the Coalition announcement was an empty promise to drum up media coverage.

"Mike Baird's announcement today is nothing more than talk about tough laws, as the Liberals have failed to crack down on violence and shootings on Sydney's streets over the last four years," he said.

"Despite the NSW Parliament giving the government tough anti-gang laws two years ago, this government has failed to use the laws and declare a single criminal gang. …

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