Police trying to smear us: bikies
The West Australian

Rebels bikies have accused police of running a smear campaign against them in an attempt to justify the long-awaited rollout of the State Government's tough new anti-association laws.

Police are yet to reveal who their first target will be but Rebels State president Nick Martin said he was convinced his club was top of the list given recent attempts to portray it through the media as a criminal organisation.

_The West Australian _reported on Saturday that more than 700 Rebels members, nominees or associates had been charged during a two-year national operation led by the Australian Crime Commission.

Police said 46 of those charged were from WA, where the club has about 150 members.

Mr Martin challenged police to produce a list of their names, claiming the numbers had been inflated in an attempt to convince the public that anti-bikie laws were necessary.

"The people of WA deserve the facts," he said. "They (the police) talk about associates, but who are these people?

"I bet 90 per cent of them have nothing to do with the club. The Police Commissioner's son has been to jail, so does that make the police criminals by association too?"

Under the laws, police can apply to the Supreme Court to have a gang declared a criminal organisation.

Members could then be hit with control orders making it an offence for them to associate with each other, wear club colours or visit designated places.

Gang members breaching a control order would face up to two years jail and up to 20 years if caught instructing others to commit certain crimes.

Mr Martin said the Rebels had hired lawyers and were prepared to fight the laws in the High Court if needed.

Similar laws are being challenged in Queensland.

"I bet that if your regular suburban football club had the cops following it around 24 hours a day and seven days a week, they would probably have more charges than us," Mr Martin said.

He rejected police claims that his club was in disarray after national president Alex Vella had his visa revoked, stranding him overseas.

"The club is not rudderless," he said. "If anything, it is stronger than it has ever been."