‘Baby Raptor’ cops plan to make bikies extinct
NSW bikie-busting Strike Force Raptor has decimated outlaw motorcycle gangs, now a 'Baby Raptor' squad is targeting young recruits in a bid to destroy the gangs once and for all.
Many leaders have fled overseas, been jailed or retired and now Raptor has embarked on an ambitious program to make sure they are starved of future members.
"We have been going into police citizens youth clubs, juvenile justice centres and over three days tell them the truth about being a bikie," said Raptor Prevention Program co-ordinator, Sergeant Nathan Trueman.
As a member of Raptor, Sgt Trueman has helped shut down 60 clubhouses in NSW, as they systematically smashed the groups - to the point that only four club houses belonging to no-name gangs remain.
Sgt Trueman and other squad members are just as passionate about preventing young people falling into the bikie life as they are about shutting down clubhouses.
"We give them reality. If you join a bikie gang you will be banned from pubs where your mates drink, banned from nightclubs where you might meet young women," he said.
"When you get a licence, we will pull you over time and time again and I guarantee you will end up losing it."
Shortly after taking the top job, NSW Police Commissioner Fuller established the Youth and Crime Prevention Command to prioritise youth engagement programs, which includes the Raptor Prevention Program.
"I'm a big believer that investing in these types of strategies can save young people from a life of crime and BOCSAR's recent report into age-specific rates of offending reflects that," Commissioner Fuller said.
"A 40-55 per cent decrease of juvenile offenders across the crime types over the last decade identifies a generation far less likely to become involved in crime than the one proceeding it."
In the "Baby Raptor'' program, police point out that some clubs demand prospective members perform sex acts on animals or subject themselves to beatings and other humiliations as part of initiation.
Young females are told bikies are sexist organisations which they can't join and are merely "property'' to be used.
Raptor have spoken to more than 600 kids this year. Many have already been in trouble with the law and dabbled in gang culture often to replace a bad family life or to belong to a group.
While Sgt Trueman admits part of their strategy is to scare them out of the gangster life, the program is also about interacting with young people and giving them alternatives.
The three-day program has been running for over a year and has the full support of the NSW police bosses with funding till the end of this year.
Another senior raptor officer, Detective Chief inspector Darren Beeche, said there was a lot of positive reinforcement offered to them along the way.
"We have meals with them, listen to them talk and let them know we are around anytime they need help," he said.
They even use the bikies' own words to show them how controlling bosses can be and play parts of a podcast from former Nomad Outlaw Motor cycle gang boss Moudi Tajjour, where he does a pretty good job in trashing the life with out any help from the cops.
Tajjour, a convicted killer, talks about how bikie life is only good for a very few who get rich from "the grunts", as he calls them: "Your $20,000 motorbike becomes the property of the club, you have to buy your colours which cost $2500 and you have to pay fees every week."
As one Raptor officer said, with guys like Tajjour doing podcasts, there is no need to tell kids how dumb becoming a bikie is, they do it themselves.
The former Nomad tells listeners a lot them are "bottom feeder", refers to them as "dumb c**ts" who have to do his dishes.
"We show them the photo of the odd bikie president who has a waterfront apartment while all the other members are basically living in crappy units," Sgt Truman said.
Then there are the images of whole OMCG chapters laying facedown on the pavement with their hands bound after they have been raided by Raptor.
The "Baby Raptor" program was inspired after Sgt Truman attended a gangs conference in the United States and couple of years ago, and tailored a program to fit the needs of NSW.
During the three days they give a hard hitting, no hold backs of what it takes to get into a gang, what's you have to do once you're in and how difficult it is to get out of a gang. Parents and community members told of dangers signs often seen in kids looking to join a gang and guest speakers relate their life experiences and how gangs have affected their lives including police and emergency services, victims of gangs and
Guest speakers include, NRL players, boxers, Defence Force members, PCYC and local heroes who have made it.