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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1152 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 October 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon M.H. Roberts
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

POLICE — OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANGS — TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

1152. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Minister for Police:

I refer to Friday, 11 October when parts of Reid Highway were closed off with traffic control lights set to green so that bikie gang members could have free rein of the road.

(1) Why did the police inconvenience law-abiding citizens and give criminal gangs special treatment above ordinary law-abiding road users?

(2) How much did giving special treatment to criminal gangs cost the taxpayer?

(3) How many police officers were involved in giving criminal gangs special treatment?

(4) Why does the government side with criminals over law-abiding Western Australians?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided to me by the Minister for Police.

The premise of the member's questions is rejected. The Western Australia Police Force advises the following.

(1) Historical incidents involving attendees at outlaw motorcycle gang funerals resulted in the Western Australia Police Force designing and applying traffic management plans that ensure that funeral attendees comply with traffic laws. The plans aim to mitigate the risk of conflict between funeral attendees and other road users, to minimise disruption to other road users and, most importantly, to ensure the safety of the community. When considering the risk to the community, the WA Police Force made the decision to manage the group's travel from Kenwick to Pinnaroo. In doing so, police were able to influence the routes taken, minimising disruption, inconvenience and risk to the community.

(2) Officers performed duties during their normal business hours, without incurring overtime or other penalty payments.

(3) A total of 55 police officers were deployed, with the majority being sourced from the gang crime squad and other serious and organised crime division squads.

(4) As the honourable member should be aware, the Western Australia Police Force makes decisions regarding operational strategies without government interference. The Western Australia Police Force applies a consistent and zero-tolerance approach to the management of activities and movements of OMCGs in Western Australia to detect, deter and disrupt any unlawful and illicit activity of OMCG members and associates.