Videos disappear after police bikie campaign backfires
Queensland Police have quietly pulled promotional videos about two ex-bikies getting their lives back on track since leaving gangs, after it was revealed they had reoffended since filming, with one awaiting sentencing for serious domestic violence offences.
The Courier-Mail revealed last week that police knew ex-Rebels bikie Dan Kilian - a star of a QPS gang reform promotional documentary - had bashed and allegedly strangled his pregnant partner after the documentary was filmed but before it was released.
It was also revealed ex-Hells Angel bikie Ben Geppert, who was featured in a second video, had been committed to stand trial on a string of charges including serious assault and extortion.
Queensland Police this week scrambled to take down the controversial campaign videos, pulling them from their website for review.
QPS initially uploaded a new version of the Dan Kilian video on Friday, featuring a two-minute prologue in which Detective Acting Chief Superintendent Roger Lowe explained the men in the videos "are not role models".
A spokeswoman said the videos were then taken down from police websites on Monday "in response to community feedback" and were being reviewed.
The videos of Kilian and Geppert were released as promotional material when Queensland Police, the AFP and Queensland Government announced their OMCG Exit Program on February 4.
Kilian's victim and domestic violence advocates last week expressed their disappointment that QPS had used a domestic violence offender in the midst of ongoing court action as a poster boy for their exit program campaign.
"In response to community feedback, the Queensland Police Service updated the gang prevention videos launched February 4 to reinforce the QPS's strong stance on preventing
domestic and family violence and protecting victims," a QPS spokeswoman said.
"The two prevention videos are currently not available while the content is reviewed.
"The QPS will continue to prioritise the safety of victims of domestic and family violence."
Queensland Police refused to confirm the cost to taxpayers for the films - produced by Brisbane production company Ignition Films - however The Courier-Mail understands the cost of both videos were in the tens of thousands.
Rose Rose Foundation CEO Betty Taylor said it was critical to wait until Kilian was sentenced for his crimes in April before re-releasing any updated videos of him.
"With everything that gets put out there with domestic violence I think we always have to be aware of the unintended consequences," she said.
"I think the minute that we get information about ongoing (or) future violence I think that's where we've really just got to stop and have a good reflection on it.
"We've indicated to QPS that we would be happy to be a part of that consultation.
"We certainly don't want to Exit Program to go, we'd just want to be as safe as possible and see messages about ongoing domestic violence in it."
A QPS spokeswoman said the exit program and enforcement action by the QPS's Organised Crime Gangs Group still continues with the aims of reducing membership and criminal offending.
Originally published as Videos disappear after police bikie campaign backfires