New York’s police commissioner says Queensland’s anti-bikie laws will be good for the state and are similar to US laws that curbed the power of the Mafia.
New York’s police commissioner has commended Queensland on its tough anti-bikie stance, likening it to US laws that cracked down on the Big Apple’s most powerful Mafia families.
Premier Campbell Newman met Commissioner Bill Bratton in New York on Monday (US time) as part of his trade mission to the United States.
Mr Bratton said Queensland’s anti-bikie Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act was similar to the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act in the US.
When asked whether following in RICO’s footsteps was a good idea, Mr Bratton replied: “Hooray for you. Go for it.
“RICO certainly has helped us in the United States deal with not only the Mafia – the five families that once ruled in this city – but with many other types of activity.”
Mr Bratton said the RICO laws helped curb the activity of gangs in Los Angeles and the equivalent “crews” in New York.
Mr Newman said New York crime statistics, which show a drop in overall crime, murders and shootings year on year for the past 24 years, was a positive sign for Queensland’s new laws.
“We clearly haven’t had the same sort of challenges with crime that cities like New York and Los Angeles have had, but the alcohol-fuelled violence and the criminal motorcycle gang issue are other issues we must solve,” he said.
Mr Newman urged Queenslanders to give the anti-bikie laws time to work.
“While these laws have been tough and in some quarters been criticised, they are working to protect Queenslanders,” he said.
The premier also toured New York’s East Access Rail Line, saying it showed the benefits and challenges a similar underground transport project would bring to Brisbane.
Mr Newman will continue his trade mission to Houston after visiting Los Angeles and New York.