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March 23, 2011
OUTLAW bikie gang, the Coffin Cheaters, are today tearing down fortifications at their Bayswater clubhouse - just two days before a police directive was to expire.
Earlier this month, police
announced that WA's biggest bikie gang had agreed to remove fortifications
from the Raleigh Rd headquarters, avoiding a lengthy court battle.
Cheetah Investments Pty Ltd, the owner of the property, accepted conditions set out in a fortifications removal notice issued by Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan.
Today work began.
Under the directive, the club must remove sleepers from the front wall of the fortress and replace the fixtures with steel mesh or see-through material.
The gang was also ordered to remove the small front gate and replace it with steel mesh and an unlockable gate so the courtyard and public areas is accessible.
In addition, external surveillance cameras which monitor the street must be removed and hardwood internal doors replaced with ``normal'' interior doors.
On January 24, the Corruption and Crime Commission issued a fortification warning notice to the property owners, giving them 14 days to respond before a fortification removal notice could be issued.
Cheetah Investments Pty Ltd had until February 25 to either agree to remove the fortifications or make an application to the WA Supreme Court to appeal the fortification removal notice.
If the fortifications are not removed or modified by Friday, March 25, the Police Commissioner can order action be taken to remove the fixtures.
Earlier this month, Coffin Cheaters' spokesman Peter ``Fuzzy'' Godfree said the clause of greatest concern to the club was the order for an unlockable front gate that would make the premises ``accessible to the general public''.
It is not clear if this clause has been met.
Comment has been sought from the Coffin Cheaters.
WA's anti-fortification laws have been used once since being introduced in 2003 after the car bomb assassination of former CIB boss Don Hancock.
In August 2008, WA Supreme Court Justice Peter Blaxell ordered the Gypsy Jokers to remove fortifications at their Maddington clubhouse, including a 2m-high wall, remote-controlled gates, surveillance cameras and floodlights.