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Expert says much to be learnt from Canadian b -

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Reporter: Barbara Miller

PETER CAVE: Moves for a nationally consistent approach to tacking bikie-gang violence appear to
have hit a hitch today, with the Victorian Government saying it doesn't see the need for specific
legislation. The issue is being discussed at today's meetings of the attorneys-general.

It comes as Canada has announced a massive crackdown on bikie gangs there, with the arrest of 150
Hells Angels. A bikie expert says there's much to be learned from Canada's stringent laws on
gang-related violence.

Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: In a massive operation, Canadian police began rounding up Hells Angels at dawn.
They were armed with arrests warrants for 156 of them. Lieutenant Daniel Guerin is a member of the
Canada's special taskforce on organised crime.

DANIEL GUERIN: All of the Hells Angels on the Quebec territory are now arrested for drug
trafficking, conspiracy, murder and also gangsterism.

BARBARA MILLER: All of the Hells Angels in the Quebec chapters?

DANIEL GUERIN: Yes, all of the Quebec - we have five chapters. And we also seized all the bunkers
related to those bikers.

BARBARA MILLER: Most of the charges laid relate to offences committed during Canada's brutal bikie
wars of the 1990s.

William Marsden is an expert on the Hells Angels and co-author of 'Angels of Death' and 'The Road
to Hell'. He says coordinated police action and tough new laws are behind this police crackdown.

WILLIAM MARSDEN: You can take a gang that had, say, rules of engagement, if you like, in a gang war
where they would be murdering rival gang members etc. And if you could prove that each of these
members of this gang accepted those rules and was part of the gang, then any murder that was
committed in the name of the gang, was a murder for which each member was guilty.

So that's what you see now in the indictments against the Hells Angels here. In one case, in one
particular murder, you've got 94 people who have now been charged with that one murder.

BARBARA MILLER: So it's murder by association? That person may not have even been in any way
directly involved in that murder?

WILLIAM MARSDEN: He may not have been directly involved in that murder, but the mere fact that he
was part of the gang, that he accepted the rules of the gang and that he was participating in the
war, makes him guilty.

BARBARA MILLER: As you know, Australia is trying to toughen up on its bikie laws at the moment. Do
you think there's lessons to be learned from Canada?

WILLIAM MARSDEN: Well, I think there is, yeah. I mean, Canada has not only created these anti-gang
laws, but it has also merged police forces on a national, provincial and local level, so that
intelligence is shared.

They have taken a very patient, but hardnosed view of gangs and underworld, so that they accumulate
their information, they tap their phones, they follow them - every time they leave their house they
know exactly what they're doing - they have vast intelligence networks and computer spreadsheets to
show where people were, any gang member is at any given time - if he's stopped on the street by a
police officer, that all goes into a centralised computer, etc. So they really track these guys.

This is what you have to do when you have highly organised international gangs, like you do with
the Hells Angels, or the Mafia, or any of these people.

BARBARA MILLER: Nationally consistent bikie-gang legislation appears a long way off here. Many of
the states and territories are in favour of such an approach, along the lines of the South
Australian model. But Victoria's Attorney-General Rob Hulls says bikie-specific laws unnecessary:

ROB HULLS: Here in Victoria, we have very tough laws, and our laws make sure our justice system
deals with the Mr Bigs of organised crime; they're about treating the cause, and not just the
symptoms of organised crime, and they're fully supported by the Victoria police.

BARBARA MILLER: In Canada, experts say the trials following on from this sweep of arrests will be
important test cases of just how tough the legislation is.

PETER CAVE: Barbara Miller reporting.