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Who can clean up Adelaide's streets after ongoing bikie violence?

April 20, 2012


COMMUNITY groups say they have had enough of shots being fired in Adelaide's streets by lawless bikie gang members and organised crime groups. Police have blamed renegade bikies for at least eight shooting incidents in Adelaide since September 30 as well as three other incidents of firearms recklessly discharged in suburban streets. Bikie sources have told The Advertiser that there is a lawless fringe who have infiltrated organised clubs. They have no respect for the law and refuse to follow the club rules. The clubs simply do not want to attract so much attention. At least two outlaw gangs - the Hells Angels, at Mansfield Park, and The Newboys, at Enfield - are based in the Port Adelaide Enfield Council area. Mayor Gary Johanson says the residents were a "tolerant lot" but they have had enough of wild shootouts. Adelaide's Bikie Underworld Bikie war raises bigger fears Bikie shooting at Croydon Park Bikie war raises bigger fears Adelaide Now, 18 hours ago DPP fury as bikie violence spreads The Australian, 31 Jan 2012 Bounty hunters target Focarelli Adelaide Now, 31 Jan 2012 Bikie murder - follow the fallout Adelaide Now, 30 Jan 2012 Pub shooting linked to bikie feud Perth Now, 17 Jan 2012 "Innocent bystanders could be caught up in the gunfire and that just simply cannot be tolerated," he said, Mr Johanson is calling for "people power" to send a message to lawmakers. "Obviously the communities could unite to say this is not what they consider should be happening in their community," he said. "Sometimes it does come down to the people themselves to make a strong stand. "Our community is probably the most generous and sympathetic community of all. "We are certainly tolerant towards the motorcycle fraternity, but there's no way any of our community would condone this type of activity because eventually innocent people are going to be injured or killed." Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said the spate of shootings was happening in such random locations that the elderly were fearful. "The general reaction that I'm hearing from people who have lived in the street where (shootings) have happened is that (this sort of thing) has never happened in their street before," he said. "It creates an uncertainty and for older people that can lead to isolation and stop them going out ... We want people to feel safe. It doesn't help the peace of mind of older people or, indeed, of anybody." Mr Yates said the public perception was that police were doing all they could short of having the clubs outlawed. "Police do a lot of things we don't hear about," he said. "People appreciate that the police have no desire for this to go on and they do everything in their power to stop it." The latest attack on Wednesday, which left a man, 29, said by police to be a Hells Angels member, with serious wounds, has again unnverved the community, Mr Yates said. Criminals have no problem getting their hands on high-powered, sometimes military, firearms through the blackmarket or by stealing them from licensed owners. Firearms also are smuggled in through the ports or the hundreds of thousands of kilometres of unregulated coastline. The supply is not going to dry up any time soon but legislation aimed at controlling renegade bikies and other criminals is bogged down in Parliament. SA Attorney-General John Rau says new laws would give police the tools to stop gun-wielding criminals but sources say new laws were unlikely to stop the gunmen. "They (the gunmen) are probably in a stolen car. They probably have a stolen gun and they're shooting at a car in the street. How many laws are broken there?" a source said. "A new law won't stop them." Residents and Ratepayers Association president Kevin Kaeding says the rising concern might soon be loud enough for even Opposition politicians who are opposing the new laws. Regardless, there is distress about the repeated shootings, particularly among parents with young children, he said. "Do we have to have a major tragedy before the government and government agencies act, because this is where it's heading," Mr Kaeding said. "(Residents) actually want to see a legislation in place that a government agency can act on and protect the community." Changing community values, he said, had led to a rise in violence. But what remains unclear is how many criminals have filtered into the clubs and how many just say they are. Mr Johanson says not all the bikies are criminals, but the clubs must run them out. "In among any group, there's good and there's bad," he said. "Here's an opportunity for them to self-regulate and make sure their local communities are not living in fear and I don't believe they are. "But a lot of these so-called bikies and bikie shootings are not motorcycle riders and never have been riders."

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