State cracks down on bikie gangs with tough new laws

ADELAIDE - Bikie gangs will be banned in South Australia under new laws the state Government says are the toughest in the world.

Premier Mike Rann claimed yesterday that the gangs were "terrorists within our community," involved in drug trafficking, murder, extortion, intimidation and firearms smuggling.

"This is an evil within our nation and we in South Australia intend to lead Australia in the fight against bikie gangs."

Attorney-General Michael Atkinson brushed aside concerns it could spark an all-out war between police and gang members and that government officials might be at risk. "Someone's got to take the risk," he said.

The Attorney-General will be to declare a bikie gang an outlawed organisation and to confiscate their assets, even their Harley-Davidsons.

Atkinson named the groups as the Hells Angels, Gypsy Jokers, the Finks, the Rebels, the Descendants, the Bandidos, the Red Devils and the Mob Shitters. Police said that involved about 200 full gang members.

Once gangs were declared outlawed, police would be able to seek court control orders to prevent gang members meeting or communicating with one another, essentially banning any gatherings or group runs on the state's roads.

Any breach of control orders could result in a five-year jail sentence.

Police would also get wider powers to dismantle gang headquarters and seize assets and would be able to force gang members to reveal the source of any unexplained wealth or income.

- AAP

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