Page 2870 - Week 08 - Thursday, 17 August 2017

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that ACT Policing has the necessary tools at its disposal to effectively deal with serious and organised crime entities.

Since I last reported to the Assembly in March on ACT Policing’s key priorities, a new policing agreement, purchase agreement and ministerial direction have been put in place to set out the resources and priorities for ACT Policing. In July, I issued my ministerial direction for ACT Policing, which states clearly my expectation:

… ACT Policing will continue to prepare and respond appropriately to changes in the national security and threat environment and, through an enhanced focus on technology and innovation, will develop agile policing capabilities that are able to respond to increasingly complex and emerging crime, including serious and organised crime.

This demonstrates very clearly that, contrary to some media reporting, we have continually placed a high priority on responding to outlaw motorcycle gangs. And we will continue to respond to these matters based on the best available evidence on what action by government is necessary, effective and proportionate.

In response to the firearm discharges, on 19 July I met with the ACT Chief Police Officer, Assistant Commissioner Justine Saunders, to receive a briefing on ACT Policing’s ongoing targeting of OMCGs. The CPO advised that she had issued an immediate directive to all of ACT Policing to make targeting OMCGs the number one priority. This increased operational focus complements and strengthens the work of ACT Policing’s Taskforce Nemesis, which is specifically dedicated to detecting, disrupting and prosecuting members of OMCGs involved in criminal activities.

At our last meeting, the CPO updated me on how ACT Policing is using the additional $6.4 million the government provided in August 2016 to increase Taskforce Nemesis by eight additional staff. Since it was established by ACT Policing in August 2014 to lead operational and investigative responses to OMCG activity, Taskforce Nemesis has been responsible for initiating 83 prosecutions against OMCG members for a total of 255 offences.

I trust that the Assembly will be reassured, as I was, by some of Taskforce Nemesis’s recent successes, including the following. On 21 June 2017 a known OMCG associate was arrested and charged with making a demand with the threat to kill or cause grievous bodily harm. On Friday, 23 June 2017 ACT Policing arrested the Nomads OMCG president and seized a self-loading semi-automatic pistol, three ballistic vests, a disguised conducted energy weapon, a spring-loaded flick-knife and drugs. And on 28 June 2017 a former high ranking office holder of the Rebels OMCG was arrested and charged with multiple large commercial quantity drug supply offences in a joint operation conducted with New South Wales police.

I can also advise the Assembly that as a result of Taskforce Nemesis’s activities there are currently seven OMCG members remanded in the ACT and one member in New South Wales. I commend our ACT Policing officers, in particular those in Taskforce Nemesis, for those successes and for the work they do to keep Canberra safe. But we are not complacent and, as I said earlier in my statement, the ACT government and ACT Policing are working together to continually strengthen our response to

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