The emergence of a new Nomads bikie gang in the ACT is set to raise tensions as different bikie factions now try to stake a claim for their own territory.
For decades, the Rebels were the only outlaw motorcycle club in Canberra, establishing up to five chapters in the ACT, The Canberra Times reports. Having just one bikie gang brought stability as there was no inter-gang conflict there for police to deal with.
However, in 2014 the Comanchero gang developed a presence in Canberra and set up a chapter there of former Rebels. Now a third gang, the Nomads, has been established after senior members of the Rebels changed their allegiance to them.
The Nomads established a chapter in Canberra after senior members of the Rebels bikie gang changed their allegiance to them
Concerns of an upsurge in inter-gang violence were raised when tattoo parlour, Tattoo Culture, in Tuggeranong owned by the father of one of the defecting bikies Michael Clark was allegedly targeted in the early hours of Monday morning.
Police said investigations into the fire at the tattoo parlour were continuing.
But, although aware of the new developments and the rise of a new bikie gang, an ACT Policing spokeswoman played down concerns.
She said there were no suggestions bikie numbers were rising in the ACT in spite of the new gang, and that existing gangs were just splintering into different factions.
For decades the Rebels were the only outlaw motorcycle club in Canberra, however, in 2014 the Comanchero gang developed a presence
The creation of a third bikie gang in ACT may see tensions rise there in the future
A police spokeswoman said the existing gangs were just splintering into different factions
'The presence of any additional [outlaw motorcycle gangs] who are potentially in conflict with each other does raise a concern for community safety,' the spokeswoman said.
'It would be naive to advise there is no risk to members of the public should any conflict escalate into physical violence.
'The community should be reassured that any dispute between gang members is just that, and there would be no benefit for deliberately involving innocent members of the community.
'They can be assured that police will pursue all persons involved and prosecute them to the full extent of the law so as to ensure the safety of the ACT community.'
But it would be 'naive to advise there is no risk to members of the public should any conflict escalate into physical violence' the police spokeswoman said