THE WESTERN AUSTRALIA GOVERNMENT will tomorrow launch its 'Phone in a Bikie' campaign, which urges the public to inform police of suspect activities by known members of outlaw motorcycle gangs.
WA Police Minister Rob Johnson and Specialist Crime Assistant Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the campaign, which will be run over print and radio advertising, will lead to improved information and intelligence holdings.
"The reason why we've launched this initiative is to allow members of the community to give us feedback about what they know the bikies are up to," Mr Gregson said.
"Now they're in a position to tell us where they work, what businesses they are involved in, where they are drinking, with whom they are associating and they can give us this information anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
Mr Gregson justified the campaign - which has already gained the nickname 'dob in a bikie' - based on the fact that Western Australia has 260 patched bikie members (members wearing 'gang' logos on their jackets) with 17 clubhouses, making it difficult for police to monitor gang activities efficiently.
The campaign has met opposition from special interests groups, however, with Damien Codognotto of the Independent Riders' Group in Melbourne declaring the move 'un-Australian', describing it as a system easily abused.
The dob in a bikie scheme incites hatred in the wider community and is open to abuse. Most non-riders can't tell the difference between a 250 Honda and 1200 BMW. Some will inform on anyone wearing a bike style jacket out of spite or paranoia, Mr Codognotto said.
Hatred of motorcycle & scooter riders on-road can become road rage with deadly effect. It is negative to road safety and utterly irresponsible. Responsible authorities should encourage the safe use of environmentally-friendly transport.
Police estimates indicate that of the more than one million registered motorcyclists in Australia, less than 5000 are regarded as 'bikie' gang members.