7th July 2022
The announcement by the Chief Commissioner of a new task force, Viper, to tackle outlaw motor-cycle gangs had a familiar ring but hopefully a better outcome than a previous attempt.
Even so, some similarities are a worry.
In 2013 Chief Commissioner Ken Lay announced, under the headline
TOP COP’S WARNS OUTLAW BIKIES, ‘WE HAVE A GANG TOO’
Lay announced that a ‘hard-nosed investigator Superintendent Brett Guerin was to take over the Razon Task Force, “Take on the Bikies”.
Targeting the Night Club industry, the only reference we could find was that Task Force charged three Bikies with selling Alcohol without a license.
It was reported that Superintendent Guerin is a man with an engaging laugh and a quick wit. Mr Lay has identified him as the right man for the job.
The lilt of one’s laughter and wit seem strange attributes for a Bikie gangbuster.
Lay failed to say or had not found out that Guerin was the infamous Vernon Demerest and Clive Howlett- Jones, two of the most infamous foul-mouthed nom de plume racist trolls who could best be described as extreme right-wing fascists on social media—allegedly using police computers to troll.
The head of the Professional Standards Command, as an Assistant Commissioner, his career ended abruptly when he was exposed as a troll.
The similarities with Viper, however, do not relate to the character of the police in charge but the comparison of the Government actions for both Razon and Viper.
The Legislation does not match the Bikie creed of extreme violence to achieve their objectives, so being unable to deal with the Bikies in the traditional way aTask Force would seem the only alternative.
To cover the Governments’ failings to legislate enabling powers for police, here we are nine years after Razon, faced with the same issues and the same Government without lessons learned.
We fear the problem will be just as bad in another decade, and Viper will not have been the magic bullet the politicians hoped would avoid them having to do their job.
Sometimes we wonder if our community leaders are ‘in awe’, ‘infatuated’ or ‘afraid’ of the Bikie culture, making them unprepared to tackle it.
It is ironic that the drugs that swill through the Safe Injecting Rooms are most probably sourced via the Bikie Gang networks, make of that as you will.
The Government again resists to tackle the issue properly, and as in 2013, it will all be left to the police to try to resolve with one hand tied behind their back. And if they fail, guess whose fault it will be – the Poilce?
If the Government and community leaders are serious, the Legislation in America called Rico-Law enacted in 1970 would be a good template to start. It is very successful in combating organised crime, which regular Legislation fails to do.
Those Lawmakers understood the tentacles of organised crime, which this law addresses and is not available in traditional Legislation.
The exodus of bikies and organised crime from Interstate to Victoria was not solely because of the efforts of interstate Police or any lack of effort by Victorian Police. It was the Legislation, or lack thereof, in Victoria.
One question we ponder, is we have been sold the value of the Echo Task Force that has existed for some time as an anti-bikie operation; why do we need another Task Force?
This Government failure will cost us.
This Government inaction has taken eighty police from the front line protecting us to focus on a problem that the Government, it seems, is not at all interested in resolving.
It is simply not good enough to take any police from the frontline, General Duties and the Road policing areas in particular, as they are already under-resourced dramatically, this directly and adversely impacts us.
When you call the police, and they do not come, or the road toll soars, you will know why.
Crime will always escalate when the Policing function at the grassroots is compromised.
Perhaps some may be replaced, but that will inevitably by recruits, in the fullness of time, a euphemism for ‘maybe whenever’.
These newbies will not have the mentoring of more senior and experienced peers to learn from to keep us safe and, just as importantly, keep them safe in a dangerous occupation – the experienced are all in the Task Forces.
This bikie culture is attractive to those inclined, so why do we immortalise them when in reality, they are predominantly Middle Eastern Crime gangs and Crime families, in part using the Bikie culture as a front for extortion and protection. The Bikie image built by the media serves them well in the extortion rackets.
It would be helpful if the media took some responsibility.
It is time to provide the horsepower for policing at both ends, starving these organisations of their most valuable resource, members, by focusing on the feeder youth and targeting the support mechanisms organised crime relies on with Rico-Law.
For the feeder youths, where diversion does not work, incarceration for a period when they are young may avert their direction in life.
We all abhor the idea of incarcerating young people and the argument that it is counter-intuitive to acceptable social norms we would like to support.
Based, however, on lived experiences, this does not always work.
The solution is yet to be found, but nobody is seriously looking, least of all our community leaders.
This issue must be pragmatically examined as a matter of urgency, or in a few years, another Task Force to deal with a problem that police have not been able to resolve for a decade will be created.
The first step is for the Government to take responsibility and ownership of the problem- then do something about it.
It’s quite obvious in St Kilda that the polithave been ordered to ignore the drug dealers.
In engineering, there is no problem too big or too complicated. A problem will only exist in and of itself. It doesn’t have anything required other than the correct method to address it. It doesn’t suddenly change or deliberately hide things to make you look stupid. The problem only makes you look stupid and doesn’t go away if you are ill equipped to address it. It also only gets worse if you are stupid enough to believe it will bend to your will alone or fall into step with a lazy approach to a solution.
A problem to a proper engineer is finite and explicable. It doesn’t morph or change outside of what is obvious to an engineer in tune with the problem and its simplest approach for permanent solution. Thus “every” problem has a solution and is invariably and inexorably solved.
Every problem has a solution and the only impediment to those solutions are the interferences of people tone deaf to the sounds emanated by the problem or those too distracted by obscure or vested and ignorant viewpoints on how the problem should be tackled. There is also the matter of fear of proceeding by those too concerned with cheap or quick and so invariably inept fixes as they have little real personal interest in the problem in the first place and who may be better tasked in another field altogether. But misplaced egotism places them in an arena where they are very ill equipped to even begin to fully understand the nature of the problem and can only muster awkward bandaid fixes that may give temporary operation, but only ever moves the problem down the road a bit further, to break down even worse than before the first feeble or derelict attempts to rectify it happened.
Inevitably the nonsense of economizing on procedure to attack a problem that requires 100% of specific input, only makes the problem worse or breaks even more things plugged into the problem. Thus a single and basically simple problem problem to fix is now the propagator of a larger problem, not one properly solved to become the reliable functionary quietly operating in the background of the overall system via the proper solution implemented and continued in place with minimal maintenance.
The problem doesn’t care about if the tool you use is rainbow coloured, how shiny it appears to those sitting around waiting for the machinery to begin to function properly again or how you stand in which ever hat you decided to wear to work that day as you apply the wrong sized spanner to a fixture requiring a sledge hammer to move it.
It only cares about if the tools and components you brought to the task that day are the exact and specific ones to properly complete the job and whether or not those tools are properly and fully applied, so that nothing comes loose and that all of the parts perform in seamless and repeatably reliable operation once in place. In every case: a problem correctly solved is one that an economy of scale will always return benefits far above the perceived costs of cheapening out on the costs of said repair.
What we have today though, in those positions where only a master mechanic should be tinkering, are a bunch of cake decorators trying to impress those sitting and waiting for the machinery to function again. as it had when things chugged smoothly before the office typist went sneaking in their two cents with a wrench thrown in when no one is looking because they thought engineering was “just simple stuff” that should fix things with a dance ensemble.
The manic blunderings of minds more triggered by where to hang the bunting to make the machinery of the problem give the impression of the same as the master plan hanging on the wall behind, is not the problem’s solution: because the problem doesn’t care, The problem doesn’t bend or morph into place to the flaccid and misdirected clumpings. It only moves to the intuitive and experienced hand who knows what the problem needs. It will willingly and without resistance fall into place and happily continue in reliable long term service with an engineer’s resolve reducing it. It is an engineering problem that can only be addressed by master engineers in tune with that problem.
Cake decorators need not apply.