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Investigating Organised Crime Laws

Bond University’s Criminology Professors, Terry Goldsworthy and Robyn Lincoln, are developing an academic paper about their research on the effectiveness of the Queensland Criminal Organisation Act and it’s anti-association laws surrounding crime groups such as Outlawed Motor Cycle Gangs (OMCGs).

‘The current Queensland criminal laws around OMCGs are just not well thought through, that’s the angle the paper will take’, says Dr. Goldsworthy, former Senior Sergeant of the Criminal Investigation Branch on the Gold Coast.

During his recently presentation at the International Serious and Organised Crime conference hosted by the Australian Institute of Criminology, Dr. Goldsworthy said that ‘there is confusion about the role OMCGs play in organised crime as compared to serious crime, the threat is overstated and current laws seem to be a knee-jerk reaction to moral panic’. The evidence in support of this is that only .9% of reported crimes were committed by OMCGs for the South Eastern Region in Queensland in a 12 month period.

Given the topical nature of OMCGs and the anti-association laws, the academic pair, along with research assistant Matthew Raj, wanted to explore ramifications of these laws, examine the international experience and misconceptions of the type and how much crime a bikie gang actually commits.

Dr. Goldsworthy has noted there are limited publications on this topic in Australia and overseas despite the fact that there are now many “association” laws being circulated. He stressed that “accurate information” and “objective appraisals” of the current Queensland laws surrounding organised crime are needed to ensure that time, money and resources were used effectively.

The journal article will discuss questions such as: parameters of organised crime and the scope of the problem. Then look at the notion OMCGs as a media target for their seemly identifiable ‘organised’ crime outfits. The paper will evaluate the effectiveness of the current Queensland Criminal Organisation Act and its anti-association laws, and then provide suggestions for what could be done.

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