Calls for anti-consorting laws after Comancheros Canberra run

The Canberra Liberals have renewed their calls for anti-consorting laws after 100 Comancheros bikies gathered in the capital over the weekend. 

Members of the outlaw motorcycle gang from NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia travelled to Canberra as part of the Comancheros' national run.

Shadow attorney-general Jeremy Hanson said the gathering could be yet another sign of brewing bikie trouble in the ACT.

"As a result of Labor's failure to implement anti-consorting laws, bikies are able to operate in the ACT in ways they are prohibited from doing in other states," Mr Hanson said.

Police monitor the movements of the Commanchero bikies in Canberra on Saturday.

Police monitor the movements of the Commanchero bikies in Canberra on Saturday. Photo: ACT Policing

 

Members of the Comancheros gather outside Parliament House.

Members of the Comancheros gather outside Parliament House. Photo: ACT Policing

"We now have 100 bikies showing up on a single day. This comes amid a 'turf war' between gangs, shootings in the suburbs and firebombing of family homes."

ACT Policing's Taskforce Nemesis was joined by NSW Police's Strike Force Raptor as well as Victoria's National Anti-Gangs Squad to keep an eye on trouble during the run.

ACT Policing said no arrests were made over the weekend, although it did not pass without some minor incidents

"During the early hours of Sunday, 20 August, ACT Policing responded to a report of a disturbance at the Capital Mens Club in Fyshwick between a group of Comancheros members," a spokeswoman said.

"Police directed a number of persons to leave the premises and ensured they left the area without incident. ACT Policing investigations are ongoing."

Police also issued 12 tickets for offences such as riding unregistered vehicles and disobeying road rules.

Canberra has experienced an outbreak of bikie-related violence in recent weeks, with some incidents linked to a feud for supremacy between the Nomads gang and the Comancheros.

The most recent incidents - three shootings in less than a fortnight - have marked an escalation in the battle for supremacy in the south.

They have also raised fears about the increasingly dangerous weapons used by perpetrators and driven public conversation about what measures would be needed to curb the violence. 

In one incident, an AK-47 assault rifle was used to pepper the Waramanga house and car of a Comanchero with 27 bullets, days after a Kambah home linked to a Nomads member was targeted.

The ACT's Police Minister, Mick Gentleman, has previously pushed back against the opposition's calls for anti-consorting laws that would target bikies.

"I haven't received any evidence to see that they would work in the ACT," Mr Gentleman has said.

"It's the human rights of innocent Canberrans that could come into play, so that's the concern that we have."

Instead, Mr Gentleman has said he was looking at giving ACT police greater search powers as well as new anti-fortification laws and laws relating to unexplained wealth.

The search powers would look at lowering the minimum threshold of suspicion required for police to search houses and vehicles.

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News Article written by: 
Steven Trask
Source of News article: 
canberratimes.com.au




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