The issue of the involvement of gang members or even wannabe gang members in serious crime has raised its ugly head one more time. The issue with violent gangs is nothing new and it is an issue in more than one country.
In the USA gang names that get a constant mention include the Crips and the Bloods. There are gangs that are common to the UK, the USA and Australia and include Hells Angels and Commancheros. I do not know the make up of these gangs in either the USA or the UK but I do know that a majority of members of the Hells Angels and in particular the Comancheros here in Australia are of Middle Eastern origin. In particular the Lebanese are very prominent in these gangs.
The increase in gang activity has also included an increase in such things as the possession of illegal firearms as well as the manufacture of illegal drugs and the sale of these illegal drugs on the streets.
In Australia one prominent family involved in the gangs is the Ibrahim family. In fact they are so prominent their story was told in a series of Underbelly!! Members of that family have been either murdered, or there has been an attempt on their lives. On top of that members of the same family have murdered other individuals. John Ibrahim is the owner of a club in Kings Cross. As an aside, one of the offenders, a member of the Skaf gang who raped a 16 year old girl in what was a vicious assault has links to a gang which is an offshoot of one of the other two notorious gangs. This individual who cannot be named because he was under age at the time of the crime is due for parole. He has been visited by members of that gang whilst he has been home on weekend home detention leave.
In recent years Sydney and Melbourne have been in the middle of gang wars, and there are lots of gang related drive-by shootings, and gang related murders. It is easy to switch off when we hear of yet another death in a certain part of Sydney because we know that there is a high probability that it is gang related. What is worse, though, is that in these situations there is a wall of silence and no one will talk to the police.
Last year a Sydney Inspector of Police from the Richmond region was murdered, not from a gunshot but by a knife. Oh you might say, what has that to do with gangs? You might be surprised because the inspector had gone to a neighbouring property in response to a complaint about a person who was shooting arrows into the backyard of a particular person. That person was a tow-truck operator and I note that the media did not waste time stating that he had links to one of the bikie gangs because he employed someone who is a bikie. The man had nothing to do with the inspector’s murder, but his neighbour did the murder. Basically, one cannot judge everyone by certain standards, or even loudly proclaim about “alleged links to gangs”, without something substantive.
So, despite what Tim Fischer says to the contrary, there has been a sharp rise in gun related crime in Australia. The point to be made is that it is crime associated with the illegal possession of firearms, and in the majority of cases it is gang-related violence.
There is virtually no difference between the old mafia-style gangs and the bikie gangs. I would imagine that the same is true when comparing the activity of say the Crips with the mafia. The common denominator is the type of crime, including crime associated with the sale of drugs (a very lucrative market). This means that the only way to tackle these gangs is to tackle them the same way the mafia was tackled in the past.
There is much more than can be said and I hope to put up another post regarding the links to Traydemark Martin.