Crime crackdown: Police welcome new law to fight organised crime

MILDURA Police Inspector Simon Clemence says new legislation introduced to the Victorian parliament on Wednesday will be a great tool in the fight against organised crime.

The legislation gives police the power to apply to the Supreme Court to ban criminal bikie gangs and other criminal gangs.

Once an organisation is declared illegal, the court can then make control orders banning members of that group from associating or participating in gang activities, including wearing their club colours and emblems.

However, Insp Clemence said the legislation would pose some challenges for investigators.

“There are evidentiary proofs that will have to be covered to enable a successful application before a Supreme Court Judge, and establishing these proofs to a sufficient standard will be challenging,” Insp Clemence said.

The legislation demands law-enforcement agencies would have to prove that illegal activity, such as drug trafficking, was part of an organised activity and not just one of a short series of crimes.

“Evidence of serious organised criminality will be gathered as it is now, using traditional investigative method,” Insp Clemence said.

“The word ‘organised’ also suggests there must be a level of sophistication that would also have to be proved. 

“And finally, we would have to prove that the activity posed a serious threat to public safety and order.” 

Insp Clemence said the legislation would involve a lot more work for investigators, but outcomes could lead to significant organised crime gangs being dismantled.

“Something that you would ordinarily take for granted with some crimes, like drug trafficking, but which would now have to be proved by providing the appropriate evidence to the judge hearing the application,” he said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday's Sunraysia Daily 16/11/2012.

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