Insight: June 5

This week Insight on SBS takes a look at bikie gangs and a call for tougher laws across the country.

Guests include Former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery and members of the Gypsy Jokers and Rebels clubs.

Ironically, this will air at the same time as TEN screens its Bikie Wars drama.

This is the final Insight for the first half of 2012 and the show will return on Tuesday 24 July.

In the wake of shootings across the country, several states have introduced laws that crack down on bikie groups. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that coordinating anti-bikie laws across the nation is an urgent priority.

Insight asks whether the new laws unfairly target innocent clubs, and what they might do to Australians’ civil liberties.

In this extraordinary episode, real bikies take on police, and also reveal details of their culture of brotherhood, and even retribution.

Guests include:

Bear Cameron has been a member of the Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club in South Australia for 18 years. In the past Bear’s tattoo studio was shot up and Bear was later involved in a revenge attack.

Rohan Tidswell is Sergeant at Arms with the Rebels Motorcycle Club in Queensland. The Rebels are said to be Australia’s largest bikie gang. Rohan says he joined the group 19 years ago for the mateship when his personal life was tough.

Det Supt Arthur Katsogiannis is the head of the NSW Gangs Squad. He says the recent spate of shootings in Sydney is between two clubs and linked to a so-called “patching over” of motorcycle club members from one club to another. He says the culture and ethnic mix of clubs is changing and this is part of the problem.

Nicholas Cowdery is the former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions. He has prosecuted bikies but thinks new bikie laws are a dangerous breach of civil liberties. He says previous laws were adequate and now the balance is wrong.

Greg Hirst is a senior member of Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Club. He says police and the government don’t understand the complexity of the motorcycle club scene in Australia. He says the new anti-bikie laws enable authorities to crack down on any community group in society including religious groups.

8:30pm Tuesday on SBS ONE.

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