Banning Convicted Criminals From Associating Together
Victoria’s bikie crackdown continues, with new laws banning all convicted criminals from associating with one another set to go before State Parliament this week.
When the Hells Angels were evicted from a Seaford property last week, the aim was to bust the gang’s private meeting place.
The Victorian government is now trying to stop them meeting anywhere.
The new anti-consorting legislation reaches beyond bikies, extending to anyone convicted of a serious crime.
Some exceptions will exist, mainly for relatives of convicted criminals.
Victoria follows NSW and South Australia in introducing these type of laws.
In NSW, a person can be jailed or up to three years if caught speaking to a convicted criminal on two occasions, after already receiving a police warning.
In South Australia, police need only the suspicion that a person is consorting with an organised crime figure to pursue a charge.
This year, the SA government also made 17 groups including the Hells Angels and Rebels outright illegal organisations.
Consorting under the Victorian plan includes meetings, phone calls, emails, and even contact over social media.
For a charge to be laid, a person must have ignored a warning notice and continue to consort on three occasion in a three month period, or six occasions in a 12-month period. A conviction may result in three years behind bars.