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Biker gangs are starting to recruit young men more prone to violence

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Darren Cartwright

Outlaw motorcycle gangs are recruiting younger men more prone to violence, drawn to the gangster image and wanting to get rich quickly, a new study has found.

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released a study, based on two reports, that reveal the changing culture within outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) and the effects on members, and the support they needed to exit a club.

The reports were drawn from the same 39 interviews with former Queensland OMCG members and it discovered a propensity for violence and lack of loyalty among newer members, says AIC Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown.

He said the interviews provided a unique insight into the changing nature of OMCG, its members and the consequences of renouncing membership.

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“This study has provided first-hand insights from former members that show how some clubs are changing,” Dr Brown said.

“They described how their former clubs were recruiting younger men who are more prone to violence, attracted by the gangster image, and who are looking to join clubs to get rich quick.

“There is a real culture change in some clubs, with more conflict and less loyalty between members. And this is having a real impact on the members who are leaving.”

The report, based on the interviews with former Queensland OMCG members, covered recruitment, how clubs were managed, their values, norms and relationships.

The other report looked at the support needs of former members and identified the repercussions of exiting a club.

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