Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 681–701 | Cite as

From bikers to savvy criminals. Outlaw motorcycle gangs in Australia: implications for legislators and law enforcement

  • Stephen MonterossoEmail author


This article will examine outlaw motorcycle gang criminality in Australia and the difficulties faced by legislators and law enforcement agencies in responding to this concern. Adding further complication to the issue for the state is addressing the trepidation and disdain toward outlaw motorcycle gang behaviour that is commonplace in contemporary society. Beyond traditional criminal gang enterprise such as episodic inter-gang or more widespread violence and drug manufacture or distribution, a shift in sophistication by outlaw motorcycle gangs toward more diversified criminal enterprise has emerged. These ventures include money laundering and tactical collaboration with other crime groups and engagement with external expertise for example. Further, an expansion of legitimate business activity by outlaw motorcycle gangs which often enables other crime operations creates a more difficult landscape for legislators and law enforcement agencies to address outlaw motorcycle gang criminality. This has resulted in the emergence of populace anti-gang or anti-association type legal scaffolding to address these agents in the Australian criminal justice setting. However, the success or otherwise of these controversial legislative developments remains unclear as does the impact of law enforcement on domestic outlaw motorcycle gang criminality.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business LawCurtin University Law School, Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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