Australia - ~The Queensland Police Union is calling for police to have semiautomatic assault rifles and body armour in the fight against bikies~
POLICE are calling for military-style semiautomatic assault rifles and personal body armour as they step up the battle against criminal motorcycle gangs.
The Queensland Police Union is calling for a raft of new legislation to protect frontline police and their families from being targeted by criminal gangs.
Fearful of a repeat of the Damian Leeding tragedy, police are lobbying for firepower as they zero in on bikie gangs across the state.
Police 'sitting ducks'
The Queensland Police union is pushing for powerful Remington R4 carbine .223 guns with scopes, shotguns and personal body armour tailored to individual officers.
These weapons are available to specialist units and police in isolated areas, but the high powered weapons has not been allocated to the South East region.
Do police need more protection when it comes to the war on bikies? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
President Ian Leavers said the union backed the bikie crackdown, but said police must be given the tools to do the job properly.
In a letter to Commissioner Ian Stewart, Mr Leavers said the tough anti-bikie laws had "drastically altered the policing landscape in Queensland".
"With members and office bearers of Criminal Motorcycle Gangs (CMGs) looking at lengthy mandatory prison sentence of up to 25 years, many police have expressed o me the view that these tools as well as personal body armour should be made available to all police," Mr Leavers said.
"Police believe that with offenders facing these penalties, offenders may well try to commit murder of police to evade capture."
The death of Damian Leeding in a fatal shootout with a career criminal only heightened officers' fears, he said.
"I do not want a single officer murdered in the line of duty as a result of these laws.
"These measures would probably prevent the loss of life, not only of police but of innocent bystanders."
Prominent criminal lawyer Bill Potts, of Potts Lawyers, called for a commonsense approach and said general police did not need more fire power.
"There is no need for weapons of this nature. What's next? Machine guns?," Mr Potts said.
Mr Leavers also called for the private details of all police to be removed from publicly accessible data bases including transport and main roads, RPData and the electoral roll and for it to be an offence to access private details.
"There have been a number of incidents of a police officer's home address and other personal information being accumulated by outlaw motorcycle gangs and other criminal organisations," Mr Leavers said.
"There have been incidents of officer's family members being assaulted or harassed.
"To date, no steps have been taken to provide protection to the family of officers from criminal reprisal."
In a leaked email, Commissioner Ian Stewart ruled out introducing shotguns and based on the "limited suitability to general policing operations" and said the supply of the R4 rifle to the south east region was being reviewed.
He said police could apply to the Electoral Commission to suppress their details on the roll.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World.
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes
copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service,
you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must
Click Here to contact acting agent.