Friday, 20 April 2012

NSW bikies face tattoo parlour bans


Bikie gangs will be banned from owning tattoo parlours and wearing their colours in licensed Kings Cross venues, as the NSW government tries to stop tit-for-tat shootings in Sydney before a bikie war spirals out of control. The changes come after two more drive-by shootings overnight, this time in the city's northwest, linked by police to an ongoing dispute between rival gangs, the Hells Angels and Nomads. A police van was also torched outside an inner-west tattoo parlour, which reportedly has links to the Nomads. A total of 52 shootings have rocked Sydney in 2012 between bikie gangs and other rival organised crime groups. Premier Barry O'Farrell said the proposal to ban bikies owning tattoo parlours would be taken to Cabinet on Monday and introduced into parliament in May. It would mean amending the Crimes Act to include tattoo parlours on a list banning any involvement by declared criminal organisations. A new regime that gives NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione the power to refuse licences will be introduced. From next Friday, 23 outlaw motorcycle and crime gangs will also be banned from wearing colours at 58 Kings Cross venues, under changes to be put in place by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. "This is about sending a clear message that if you are wearing bikie colours it doesn't make you beyond the reach of the law," Mr O'Farrell told reporters on Friday. "Wearing bikie colours doesn't make you a superhero that protects you from the long arm of the law." Mr Scipione welcomed the tougher tattoo parlour regime and the Kings Cross ban, saying "this will allow us to get out there and do our job". "Police sought these from government and I'm very pleased to say that we will be making very good use of them as soon as we can," he said at the media conference. Sydney has this year witnessed a wave of shooting attacks, some on tattoo parlours, with many linked to a turf war between outlaw motorcycle gangs. Disputes are typically over drugs, turf or minor grievances.

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