OFF THE WIRE
BY: Mark Bode
Cr Anna Grosskreutz thought some police were “over zealous”.
A SUNSHINE Coast councillor has accused police of "extraordinary heavy-handedness" and ruining a family day in what has been described as a major operation targeting an outlaw bikie gang.
Cr Anna Grosskreutz yesterday said she was stunned and "very annoyed" to see dozens of police stationed outside the annual Beerwah Car Bike and Burnout Show on Saturday.
Cr Grosskreutz, whose electorate includes Beerwah, was among scores of show-goers forced into a cordoned-off area when leaving the Beerwah Sportsground event and then filmed, questioned and breath-tested.
Despite Sunshine Coast superintendent Terry Borland stating before the show that there would be no specific operation targeting the 400 or so Bandidos who were expected to attend, Cr Grosskreutz said it was obvious that the bikies were singled out.
She said that fact was confirmed to her by an officer at the scene.
"It was such a great event without incident and it (the police presence) was just unnecessary," she said. "If the police have an issue with a group, whatever they happen to be, they don't need to ruin a great event by these heavy tactics at the end of it."
Cr Grosskreutz, who has ridden a motorcycle for many years,estimated that there were at least 20 "over-zealous" officers involved in the operation, which she described as unprecedented in the region.
"I think it was a show of force from one side to the other and the rest of us got caught in the whole shebang," she said.
"With any event that I've attended, I've never seen a police presence like this one.
"This was a targeted operation, which is at odds with the police superintendent's statement to the media that there was no special operation.
"Well, there obviously was."
An organiser of the Beerwah event labelled the police presence "pretty full on" but declined to comment further.
Despite police claims they did not target the Bandidos during their weekend visit, Daily readers reported seeing police pull them over for checking on the highway at Burpengary and again at Caloundra Rd.
There was also unconfirmed reports of officers waiting for incoming flights at Sunshine Coast Airport.
Police were asked to respond to Cr Grosskreutz's comments but had not done so by deadline last night.