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Bikie boss plays down attack

LUKE ELIOT CHIEF CRIME REPORTER, The West Australian March 21, 2011, 2:15 am

 

Bikie boss plays down attack

The West Australian

 

 

Rebels WA president Nick Martin was in high spirits yesterday despite Friday night's attempt on his life in what may have been the latest tit-for-tat exchange between his outlaw motorcycle club and fledgling rivals Rock Machine.

Sporting a small bandage on his heavily tattooed left arm, Mr Martin said police had seized security camera footage of the shooting, which happened about 8.30pm as he pulled his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into his Attra Street property in Balcatta.

Mr Martin, who has previously said he believed hostilities were about "honour and integrity" rather for control of the drug trade as police consistently claim, said the injury was minor.

He had surgery on Saturday to remove shrapnel from his left elbow but is not expecting any long-term damage.

"Better luck next time," Mr Martin said, pointing to a bullet mark on the fuel tank of his motorcycle.

Despite Mr Martin's jovial mood and the minor damage caused by the shooting, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said the incident would lead to increased police activity against feuding bikie gangs.

"We have a lot more work to do on both the Rebels and Rock Machine in the next few weeks and you will see some elevated police action," he said. "There is potentially an escalating war, we're on top of it.

"We know a lot about it, we have a lot of intelligence and we are responding. You have seen us putting significant heat on bikies in recent times and you can expect to see some more coming shortly."

Mr O'Callaghan said that "heat" had recently included the use of anti-fortification laws and raids across WA. Police also used the Corruption and Crime Commission's powers to compel rival Coffin Cheaters and Finks bikies in a bid to answer questions over a bloody clash at a public event at Perth Motorplex in which one Fink was shot and another had three fingers severed. When five Finks refused to answer CCC questions, they were charged with contempt and later jailed for at least two years.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said proposed anti-bikie laws were "85 per cent complete".

Some of the laws, including anti-consorting laws and extending the powers of the CCC to investigate organised crime, had been delayed pending High Court decisions.

"When we mooted the bringing in of legislation which was control, order and anti-association legislation, we had civil liberty marches by bikie gangs, people on radio, on the news, in the press telling us bikie gangs were just a good bunch of guys who get together because of their enthusiasm for motorcycles," Mr Porter said. "It's not true, it's never been true. These are heavy criminal organisations and they need to be tackled head-on."

 

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