TMC Media Release - New Tasmanian Prohibited Insignia Laws
26 November 2019
After the weekend’s events it looks like the Government has lost confidence in its own police force, with the influx of mainland police officers brought in to assist in the implementation of new laws.
Tasmanian police force unable to enforce new laws without police from interstate assisting. Not a good look for our police force, - in fact embarrassing.
As stated in the public notices placed in the 3 Tasmanian papers, there are five Motorcycle Clubs banned from wearing club insignia in public. But in police media releases and newspaper articles they are NOW called criminal gangs. See excerpt from the Tasmania Police website media release on Saturday, 23 November 2019 - 7:32 pm. See the full media release here.
“There were no breaches of the new legislation which bans five identified outlaw motorcycle gangs – the Outlaws, Bandidos, Devils Henchmen, Rebels and Black Uhlans from wearing insignia in public. These are criminal gangs and their colours are designed to show affiliation with this criminality and intimidate others. The new laws don’t affect other motorcycle clubs.”
These were Police Minister Shelton’s comments last week, that no other clubs, other than those listed above, have anything to worry about. The new laws only apply to the prohibited motorcycle clubs.
Unfortunately, that was simply not true as shown on the Facebook pages of a Satan’s Riders MC member being almost strip searched. The Satan’s Riders MC is not one of the prohibited Motorcycle Clubs.
Images: The Vigilante News & Tasmania Police Facebook page of Satan’s Riders, not a listed Motorcycle Club, stopped in Main Street.
Can the Police Minister please explain the above incident, also along with the incident of members of another club being intimidated by Police on the Northwest Coast who were forced to lift up their jackets and coats to prove they were not members of a banned club? And tourists coming off the Spirit of Tasmania on Holiday (Harley Owners Groups Members, also not a prohibited club) being questioned by Police. As reported to the TMC by members of the public and tourist who have been stopped and checked arriving in and riding around our state, and social media reports of more cases.
No breaches of new laws were reported, but legal law-abiding motorcyclist were pursued and harassed by police. Yes, there were some minor offences, which could have been handled without such ridiculous police action.
Report from Tasmania Police website media release on Saturday, 23 November 2019 - 7:32 pm. Titled “Weapons seized in outlaw motorcycle gang run” See the full media release here.
- 18 oral fluid tests conducted (No charges laid and no indication of results, in which resulted in 18 negative results)
- 2 helmet offences (what kind of offences? for “not approved for Australian road use”)
- 2 unregistered motorcycles (which of course we believe should be registered however, hardly a criminal Act - this is in fact a Traffic offence.)
- Three dangerous items seized (knives), (One item was returned to its owner by Tasmanian Police and another owner was informed by an officer on the phone “they could keep it since they wanted it so badly”, as reported to the TMC by those individual’s that had the items seized. These items were in fact Swiss army pocket knives and a Leatherman multi tool that includes tools like screwdrivers and pliers, common tools that maybe be used in road side repairs etc for their motorcycle.)
Not much of a return for the estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, viewed by many (as reported in the Examiner Newspaper article on November 26th) as a waste of tax payers money, now that’s criminal.
The TMC has also seen social media posts and been spoken to about other male and female members of the motorcycle community that are feeling intimidated by the strong police presence at long standing community events, such as the Ross Motorcycle Show (organised by the vintage motorcycle club of Tasmania), and are concerned as now without the “insignia” being displayed that every motorcyclist will be stopped and questions/asked to lift up clothing to prove that they are not members of the prohibited listed clubs.
The Tasmanian Motorcycle Council does not and never will condone any illegal behaviour of any individual or organisation however we are deeply concerned that this infringement of civil liberties perpetrated by this current State Liberal Government is in itself something that every Tasmanian should be very concerned with and definitely be an issue at the next State election.
President - Tasmanian Motorcycle Council Inc
0427 889 074