Biker in blue sets record straight on the bikie laws
NOT only is long-serving Ipswich police Senior Sergeant Robbie Goodger the proud owner of an 1800cc motorcycle and a bushy facial growth, he is also a member of a motorcycle club.
This has given him a fair insight into the attitudes of some people in relation to the introduction of tough anti-bikie legislation towards the end of last year.
While the crackdown was always aimed at deterring members of what the State Government refers to as criminal motorcycle gangs, it is no secret that some recreational bikers with no links to criminal gangs have also voiced concerns about how the laws could affect their freedoms.
Snr Sgt Goodger, a member of the Blue Knights motorcycle club, said there were some misconceptions in the community about how the new laws - and the way those laws would be enforced by police - would affect law-abiding riders.
Over the coming weeks, the Ipswich cop aims to get the word out to various clubs, licensed premises and businesses that police are not out to get the "Average Joe".
"A lot of people seem to think that if the police see three or more riders together, that they will be targeted by police - but that only pertains to criminal motorcycle gangs," Snr Sgt Goodger said.
"For anybody else, there is no significance from a police point of view.
"Other clubs are riding in large numbers and we don't pull them up."
Another common misconception is that police will target non-criminal motorcycle club members who enter a licensed venue while wearing their colours.
This law is again only aimed at members of nominated criminal motorcycle gangs.
"I have heard all sorts of things - people worried that they will be in trouble with the police because they went on a charity ride with the Hell's Angles in the past," Snr Sgt Goodger said.
Rumours recreational riders were selling bikes en masse have also been challenged by police and West Ipswich motorcycle shop principal Theo Woollett.
Mr Woollett said Ultimate Motorbikes had increased its business each month since opening a year ago.
Breaking the law
- As of March 11, 676 criminal motorcycle gang participants had been charged with 1488 offences relating to extortion, drugs and violence