Dob In A Bikie Day

June 23, 2009

All Posts, News

The civilians have become very afraid of bikers in Australia and this is where it has led: Today, June 23rd, is “Dob in a Bikie” day in Western Australia.

Those who do not speak Hoss-Trial-Yun should substitute the phrase “rat out” for “dob in” and “biker” for bikie.

Dob in a Bikie Day is the idea of Western Australia’s Police Minister Rob Johnson. Mr. Johnson has been complaining in the Australian press that “bikies have been fooling the public into believing they are members of a social club, when in fact they belong to highly organized and sophisticated criminal organizations.”

New Investigations

There is not actually much of a biker menace right now in Western Australia. But there has been a particularly stupid and public biker war in Sydney. That war seems to have been initiated by Notorious – that is it, just Notorious, like Madonna – and the Comanchero Motorcycle Club. And, Western Australia is about 2,000 miles from Sydney but bikers have always made good boogie men.

So extra staff were assigned to man the phones today in a special police call center and by about 6 pm Western Australian time, 111 calls had resulted in 57 new active investigations.

Maam, Tell Us. Does he Snore?

“We don’t want to know who you are, we just want to know what you know about bikies, their activities, their friends and associates,” Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Gregson said. “Even something as innocuous as car or motorcycle registration numbers, bikies’ colors and their places of employment could all make a difference.”

Oooh! Did that little chill just run up your spine, too? This is what is happening today in an English speaking country with a system of laws based on English Common Law. Just like the United States of America. Oooh! Did you just feel that little chill again?

Now put on your cut and go buy an orphan a lemonade or something. And, steal your old lady some flowers. And, whatever you do, don’t argue with your neighbors!

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4 Responses to “Dob In A Bikie Day”

  1. Damon Says:

    Dear Not Surprised

    I guess you’d have to say that the powers of the heads of state of Canada and Australia are in fact monarchical, given that they’re ruled by a monarch…as here in the US, it’s still the lower and upper houses of State and Federal Parliament (= Congress) make law, the Queen’s rep essentially rubber stamps it…much as I understand the US President does…we also have an active Judiciary who have just this week ruled the SA Government’s application of it’s own Serious and Organised Crime Control Act against the Finks Motorcycle Club was invalid.

    What Australia lacks is an enforceable Bill Of Rights but, differences in the legislative process aside, I’d be surprised if American lawmakers and agencies aren’t keeping an eye on what’s happening in Oz, and vice versa.

    I guess time will tell – as I understand it, RICO was a US Federal Act created primarily to fight the Mafia, and for a long time now a range of federal agencies have tried to use it, with varying degrees of success, against the outlaw clubs. In Australia, the new legislation in SA and NSW has been created specifically to target the clubs. What might see its downfall is its potential application to other groups.

    The Finks have won the first round against the South Australian Government, but it’s anyone’s guess who’s next.

    I lived a lot of my life in Australia. When people ask what it’s like, I usually tell them it’s like a nation of violent alcoholics with Tourette’s Syndrome. And great beaches. It’s primarily a blue-collar country, and you’re right that an awful lot of them couldn’t give much of a toss about bikies, bikers or anyone else that doesn’t try and jump their back fence. Australia’s most famous folk hero, Ned Kelly, was an armed robber; and the national song, Waltzing Matilda, is about a sheep thief who suicides rather than be arrested…small wonder that Australia allegedly has the highest number of outlaw bikers per capita in the world…but the average suburbanite gets a little edgy about fatal punch-ups in airport terminals…it’s seen as bad form…and the State Governments are going to ride this for all it’s worth. We have a Labor (left wing) government Federally and in every State but one. Labor governments are routinely criticised for being ‘soft on crime’, and this an opportunity for them to show how tough they can be. At least until the next election.

    I agree, Not Surprised, the clubs will survive, at least most of them. They survived Milperra in 1984 and they’ll survive this. What happens between now and then, here and there, effects all of us.

    Must admit I’ve never come across any pay-per-view 1%er sites, maybe I’m not looking hard enough. I saw the ads when SOA first came on. I figured this is either going to be really good or really fucking awful. I thought that if they did as good a job as they did on the Sopranos, this could be alright. They didn’t. I’m with the general consensus on several other threads that it’s a pile of shit – but it still beats American Idol. I wouldn’t get too cocky about the ATF. If all you ever read about them was on this blog, you’d have to come away with the impression that they seem to still be able to fool enough of the people enough of the time.

  2. Not Surprised Says:

    Damon, Australia and Canada both have parliamnetary governments fashioned after the “Westminster System” of English law. It is a lot easier in either of these countries to get passage of acts that would never fly in the United States. Powers granted to heads of government in these countries are almost monarchial; again a chief difference.

    Right now both countries are engaged in an all out legal effort to abolish motorcylce clubs whereas here in the US, the Federal government just keeps arresting them.

    A recent article I read about a 1% member who was arrested and charged with associating with other 1% members said that while detained, he was sent a list of names of people he could not associate with. Only problem was that these names were of a rival club instead of his own.

    Now this guy swears he did not copy the list or pass any of the information on to his fellow club members who happened to be locked in open street warfare wiht the other club. After the Government realized they had just handed the oppisiton the name, home address and phone numbers of “the other team”, there was a great deal of “official” concern.

    1% clubs aren’t going anywhere and witht the exception of countries ruled by dictatorship, they thrive globally. Reactions to 1% clubs vary , especially within Europe from region to region as well as country to country.

    As long as some alphabet goverment agency has a hard on against bikers, billions of dollars will be needlessly spent and countless man hours logged in the Great War Against Bikers. Truth be told, the majority of 1% clubs have better intel and more popular support than do those agencies charged with arresting them.

    The clubs virtually police themselves for all practical purposes and the conviciton rate against 1% members at trial is pretty low in comparison.

    Australia though has seen clubs who historically have been enemies for decades form alliances of convenience to fight the government. You gotta love that; no one stands up to the government like major 1% clubs do, and in a way they are also standing for the rest of us.

    I would not worry too much about the goings on Down Under. The clubs that have existed there for many years know what’s up and to be honest the average Australian supports them.

    There are entire media entitites you can subscribe to on a pay-per-view basis in Australia that only cover 1% goings on. Most of the major newspapers have “specialzied” reporters like we would have a Food and Entertainment Editor in a big city newspaper. I’m not saying anything pro or con about it, but it is true.

    The general public at large has a morbid curiosity about the 1% “life style” and every LEO agency in the US knows they will get instant headlines if they mention the names of these clubs here.

    Damon, I don’t know much about Australian televison but here in the states we have a phenomenon called “Sons Of Anarchy” which is an episodic TV program about fictional 1% motorcycle clubs. I cannot say for sure, but it is my belief that the ATF uses it as a training manual for its operatives.

    Thanks for checking in…………

  3. Damon Says:

    This may or may not be of interest, but there’s been some cross-pollination and misinformation on the comment threads of some other posts here. I just wanted to clarify what is happening in Australia, particularly in light of the current series of major LEO operations against 1% clubs here in the US. Australia’s legislative framework and the way it practices law enforcement have a lot of parrallels to the USA, and for the last 30 or 40 years, much of what happens in one country migrates to the other. So, for what it’s worth…

    Australia’s so called ‘bikie war’ that broke out at Sydney Airport between the Hells Angels and Comanchero has gone to a simmer, however it looks as though a new war has just begun in the west.

    On Sunday (10/11/09), just outside Perth, Western Australia, a member of the Finks MC was shot in the shoulder. That’s about all the press are saying so far. The injured party is now in a serious condition in Royal Perth Hospital, under police guard. Police have so far not revealed the name of the injured man, nor details of the accident, although it is noted that “Another man was injured falling from his motorcycle during the shooting”, so it appears at this stage as though they were shot off their bikes.

    At this early stage it appears to be a textbook example of how ‘bikie wars’ in Western Australia pan out – a personal dispute between a club and an individual that gets out of control. The clashes in the eastern States of Australia rarely ever spill over to Perth, the most isolated city in the world…until recently, the only major club in WA with any real connection to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane was the Rebels MC, Australia’s largest 1% club, which has only had a presence in WA since 1998.

    Throughout the 80s and into the early 90s, the 1% scene in WA was relatively peaceful; the Coffin Cheaters and Gypsy Jokers had a clear understanding of who was based where, with a couple of Independents dotted around who knew what the arrangement was. Several attempts by larger clubs from NSW, Victoria and New Zealand to establish themselves in Perth were…successfully discouraged.

    Then, a member of the independent Club Deroes MC left that club and patched in to the Coffin Cheaters. There was talk of a financial debt to the club. There were a few altercations at various places around town, the odd drive by shooting, a sniper attempt here and there to shoot people off their bikes, all culminating in a Coffin Cheater being shot dead in the backstreets of a Perth light industrial area. A Club Deroes nominee (prospect) was ultimately charged with the murder, but acquitted at trial. ‘Mad Mick’, the defecting Dero, had his Coffin Cheaters patch pulled not long afterward and was shot dead in the street a few years later.

    In 2001 there was the kerfuffle between the Gypsy Jokers MC and the retired head of the WA Police Criminal Investigation Branch, Don Hancock. In a nutshell, a Joker was shot dead by a sniper a short distance from Hancock’s pub. A lot of evidence pointed toward Hancock, who’s pub was bombed, and a few months later so was he. The only Joker to be convicted was the patch holder who rolled over, given that under WA law, you can’t be convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of a co-accused.

    While all this was going on, the entry restrictions were apparently relaxed (I can only guess, they didn’t invite me to the meeting) and it was around this time that the Rebels set up numerous chapters around the State, the Outlaws MC have established a small beach-head, and now – enter the Finks MC. Troy Mercanti is very well known around Perth, a longstanding and high profile member of the Coffin Cheaters MC who is heavily involved in Perth’s busy nightclub and entertainment scene. His name seems to appear in the city media every few weeks, generally as a result of being videotaped fighting people in clubs. For reasons the club has not seen fit to publicly disclose, Mercanti has now parted company with the Cheaters, and it appears the split was not amicable. Several months later, Mercanti has appeared back in Perth with a Finks patch and what appears to be a chapter behind him. The Finks have never had a presence in the west, and have featured heavily as peace brokers in the dispute between the red and white, Comanchero MC and Notorious, however an open war in Perth could throw a spanner in the works.

    The first shots have been fired. Keep your heads down.

  4. Damon Says:

    According to The Australian (25/09/09), “South Australia’s highest court has struck down part of the state government’s controversial anti-bikie laws, declaring that a control order made against a member of the Finks motorcycle club was void and of no effect.” Two members of the Finks successfully appealed the declaration of a control order against them earlier this year under SA’s Serious and Organised Crime Control Act.

    This could be a setback for the New South Wales Government, who rushed ‘anti-bikie’ legislation through State Parliament earlier this year immediately following the ruckus at Sydney Airport in March. The SA Government had the Finks MC declared a ‘criminal organisation’ shortly afterward.

    The new NSW laws have found disfavour on both sides of the fence, with the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery QC, attacking the Rees government’s laws as “a giant leap backwards for human rights”. When you have the public prosecutor against you in principle, and a very public and expensive loss for South Australia, the State which got the whole anti-bikie law ball rolling, it’s not looking good for the knee-jerk political reaction of Australia’s State Governments.

    On the subject of the so-called ‘Sydney Bikie War’, things have gone somewhat quiet on that front, with a total of 13 people now charged from both sides of the argument, with offences including riot & affray, and murder.

    Not to be outdone, the Western Australian Government, home of the dob in a bikie intel campaign, are now enacting “the toughest anti-bikie and organised crime laws in the country, with sweeping new powers covering property searches, arrest, undercover operations and surveillance delivering unprecedented authority to state police.”

    “Under the plan, Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan could apply to a Supreme Court judge who would have the power to make a “declaration” regarding a bikie, a bikie gang or any other member of a crime syndicate. That declaration would, in turn, allow police to impose control orders and interim control orders, banning bikies from associating with each other or any other criminal.

    “Senior police could also declare “public safety orders”, which would allow them to ban bikies from pubs, nightclubs or any “public event” where their presence may pose a serious risk of injury or damage to property.

    “Under covert search powers, police could break into bikie compounds or properties owned by organised criminals undetected and without warrant. And under Covert (Controlled) Operations legislation, they will be allowed to take part in limited “criminal” activity without being a party to an offence.

    “These powers are vital in modern-day police techniques, which often involve the “controlled” delivery and distribution of drugs.”

    …and the one that seems to be slipping under the noses of the general public:

    “Part of the plan involves expanding surveillance legislation both federally and in WA, which would also allow police to tap phones, bug homes and track motorbikes and other vehicles across state borders.
    The new laws would also give added safeguards to undercover detectives infiltrating crime gangs, while strengthening statutory protection for witnesses who may give evidence under an assumed identity.”

    Aussies don’t like being told what to do, but they don’t have the same attitude to freedom that Americans do. The silent majority often take the attitude that ‘if it helps catch crooks, it’s worth it’. The guys at the forefront of turning this around so far are the United Motorcycle Council of Australia (, and it’s various State affiliates.

    This is going to be a long campaign, on both sides of the Pacific.

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