Bounties may backfire if bikie gangs want revenge
OUTLAW bikie gangs could profit from a State Government crackdown with fears clubs will use the bounties as a way of taking revenge on their enemies.
As part of a sweeping campaign against criminal motorcycle gangs and trumpeted by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, the state government plans to offer a bounty in an effort to score critical information about drug labs or weapons from the public.
A pool of $5 million allows for rewards of up to $500,000 for those whose insight helps police prosecute or shut down an entire gang.
Crime Stoppers Queensland will be handling the rewards, but the reliance on anonymous tips means there is often no way to know who is passing on the information.
New South Wales Police Minister Michael Gallacher's own state is grappling with bikies, but will not copy Queensland's example.
According to a spokeswoman: "We would have concerns that any such scheme in NSW would be used by criminal gangs to settle scores".
"Unless we could be certain the government would not be paying other criminals for information, we would not pursue it."
Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey was unmoved, telling APN he "has full faith in Crime Stoppers, their policies and processes in implementing the rewards program".
Crime Stoppers Queensland chief executive Trevor O'Hara told APN that paying criminals "is not something we worry about", describing it as a small risk.
Mr O'Hara said the rewards were only paid "on arrest", so the information was still important regardless of its source.
The larger bounties require people to reveal themselves because they would be interviewed by police and likely testify in court.
"Someone who is going to give information leading to the shut down of a criminal gang is going to have more than a 10 minute conversation with Crime Stoppers," Mr O'Hara said.
Mr O'Hara said protocols for the rewards would be in place within weeks.