29 August 2016

Sumptuary Law and OMGs in Queensland

The Queensland Premier in an exercise of 'tougher than you' has announced 'Bikies to be banned from “wearing colours” in public', an initiative of interest to criminologists and scholars of sumptuary law.

The media release states
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs will be banned from wearing their colours in public anywhere in Queensland under the Palaszczuk Government’s tough new package of laws to better tackle serious organised crime.
The move will extend the current prohibition on wearing colours in licenced venues into all public places across the State.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs have been a very visible and intimidating part of organised crime.
“The days of brazen, menacing rides through our streets and cities in daunting gang colours are over,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Under Campbell Newman’s laws, gang colours were still permitted on our streets. Under my laws, they won’t be."
“The gangs can expect no let-up from police and prosecutors. I want more convictions not less, something we haven’t seen under the LNP laws."
“My Government’s new laws will give the police and our courts workable, enforceable laws to convict those involved in all forms of serious crime,” the Premier said.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the extension of the ban will target outlaw motorcycle gangs, without impacting legitimate, law-abiding motorcycle riders and clubs.
“The Taskforce Report on Organised Crime Legislation recommended the Government retain the provisions in the Liquor Act that ban the wearing of prohibited items such as OMCG colours in licenced venues,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“The Government is adopting that recommendation but taking it further, because we recognise the fear and intimidation caused by colours, wherever they are worn."
“They can also intimidate victims or witnesses to crimes, who may fear the consequences if they come forward."
“That intimidation goes directly to the behaviour of OMCGs that is rightfully a concern to the Queensland public and Queensland Police."
“We want to ensure the safety of our community, and are committed to giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need to make that happen.”
It is intended the offence will carry escalating penalties including imprisonment, and police will be empowered to confiscate banned items on the spot.
The Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to tackling organised crime in all its forms means the provisions that will prevent outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouses reopening can also be used to shut down premises such as call centres being used for boiler room fraud rackets.
Police Minister Bill Byrne said the new laws will also retain additional mandatory penalties as an inducement for offenders to cooperate with police.
“Our crackdown on serious organised crime will be all-encompassing,” Mr Byrne said.
“That’s why police have been involved through the development of this new regime."
“Key stakeholders have had also had input into the Commission of Inquiry into the Criminal Organisations Act and the Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation.”
The new package will be introduced to Parliament in the next fortnight to allow consultation on the specific provisions of the draft legislation. The Government will work toward the passage of the laws through the Parliament by the end of this year.