IN the Australian state of Queensland both locksmiths and bouncers will be licensed by police under a government plan to head off biker infiltration of the security industry.
The shake-up would also stop criminals exploiting a “dead easy” licensing regime under Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading to get security work interstate, industry sources claim.
The proposal, supported by Premier Campbell Newman, came after The Courier-Mail newspaper revealed one of Brisbane’s biggest car key sellers, Millennium Locks, had close links to the Hells Angels.
It won a new security firm licence despite its owners Bruno and Nuno Da Silva being caught up in a police investigation of club violence and having allegedly made death threats towards rivals.
The licensing overhaul would give oversight to police who have direct access to intelligence on applicants’ criminal associates, unrecorded convictions and charges that are later dropped.
A January briefing note to the Premier, obtained under Right to Information laws, cites as a key issue “the potential, as reported recently in the media, for outlaw motor cycle gang activity in the security providers and locksmiths sectors of the industry”
Days after The Courier-Mail questioned the OFT about its licensing of Millennium Locks, Police Minister Jack Dempsey wrote to the Premier to propose the overhaul.
Locksmiths Guild of Australia spokesman Richard Knowles said Queensland was a “remarkable case”, with NSW and Victoria applying stricter standards under a police-run licensing regime.
“One of the great problems has been under mutual recognition, (people with criminal histories) have been getting licenses in Queensland and coming back to NSW,” he said.
“(It’s) dead easy to get a licence in Queensland and known criminals have been coming into NSW (to work) … it’s no secret.”
Mr Knowles said this was mainly security guards and crowd controllers looking for work in pubs and nightclubs, “which provides them with access to other stuff”.
A spokesman for Mr Dempsey said a working group including Police Commissioner Ian Stewart had been formed to further examine the changeover.
But any changes would have to wait until at least March next year, when the police service is due to complete a merger of its “back office” with the Department of Community Services, he said.
Editor’s Note: Since the tattoo industry and now the security industry has fallen to Biker control, we might suggest for all elements of Australian society to be quickly scrutinized, licensed, and investigated, before the Biker mob takes over. God forbid a club member gets a job working for the government. Quick, before it’s too late…