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Former bikers speak about program helping outlaw bikers leave gangs

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By Jim Malo

Men who want to find a way out of outlaw bikie gangs are signing up to a Queensland Government-funded program to help them cut ties with the criminal subculture.

Senior police outlined the program on Thursday, saying 21 former bikies had joined the growing “exit program”, including two who, along with their mothers, had given video testimonials about being seduced by the idea of the lifestyle and then finding the reality of gang life much more brutal.

Dan Kilian, a former Gold Coast Titans junior rugby league player turned Rebels member who spoke of his experience, said the violence of gang life and “warring” clubs left bikies hyper-vigilant.

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“We were always watching our backs. Someone was always getting stabbed or someone was always getting shot, or bashed … house getting shot up.”

However, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) criminologist Mark Lauchs said most people stayed in gangs because they liked it and that research suggested those wanting out were likely to number “dozens out of the thousands of bikies in Australia”.

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