Bikers say an application by NSW police to declare the Hells Angels a criminal organisation is unjustified and nothing more than political grandstanding.
Police on Tuesday made an application to the NSW Supreme Court, which could see members of the motorcycle gang arrested for consorting or wearing club colours.
The application, which will be heard on July 23, comes after legislation was passed in the NSW parliament last year allowing a Supreme Court judge to make such declarations against outlaw motorcycle groups.
While police praised the “significant” application, United Motorcycle Council (UMC) chairman Mark “Ferret” Maroney said it was unjustified and poorly timed.
“There is no imminent threat at the moment and there has been no major dramas between the groups since the change to laws last year when members of each of the groups met and started working together,” Mr Maroney told AAP on Tuesday.
He was not aware of the specific grounds of the police application and said he was yet to speak with any member of the Hells Angels club, who traditionally do not speak to the media.
“This is nothing more than political grandstanding,” Mr Maroney said of the application.
“Without this legislation the NSW government has enough laws to control everybody. I mean, our jails are full.”
Mr Maroney criticised the timing of Tuesday’s police announcement, which came on the second day of a Sydney local court committal hearing involving 13 men with alleged bikie connections over a fatal brawl at Sydney Airport.
The UMC was formed after the airport clash between members and associates of the Hells Angels and the rival Comancheros in March 2009, in which one man was killed.
“They know full well that (the Hells Angels) lawyers are going to be in court at the moment for the airport matter and aren’t going to be able to give this the attention that’s needed,” he said.
“It’s come at a time when (this committal) is going on and the government and police will have people thinking that (bikers) are going to court anyway and deserve whatever they get.”
Police Gangs Squad Commander Mal Lanyon said the application was based on comprehensive investigations, evidence and legal work.