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Bikies loaded for Surfers Paradise war


POLICE are braced for an outbreak of violence on the Glitter Strip as Bandidos outlaw motorcycle club members vow revenge on the Rebels Motorcycle Club.

According to police, the clash between the Bandidos' sergeant-at-arms and the president of the Liverpool chapter of the Rebels in Surfers Paradise last week could shatter a tentative peace between the two gangs.

Police sources said an internal memo sent to all officers warned of increased tension between the two and predicted violence in a matter of days. The memo refers to a police interview with a patched Bandido in which he vowed the problems between the two clubs would be `sorted soon' and to expect `an incident in a nightclub in three days' time'.



Individual officers have taken to social networking sites to warn friends and family to `keep out of Surfers Paradise'.

While senior police downplayed suggestions of a bikie war, they acknowledged the increasing tension between the clubs.

The gangs have maintained a low profile, amid rumours police will move against at least two Gold Coast clubs -- through new, anti-bikie laws -- and have them declared criminal organisations.

Police sources said the Rebels' member had `financial interests' in a party precinct venue that was considered a prime target.

The Bandidos are the strongest outlaw motorcycle gang on the Coast. But, while the Rebels' local chapter is weak, the club has substantial numbers nationally and could call for reinforcements.

Senior police yesterday downplayed the memo, saying bikies were `unlikely' to announce any violence before it occurred.

Bikie conflict has been on the rise on the Gold Coast in the past few weeks. A gym owned by a prominent Hells Angel member was peppered with bullets and a Bandido associate was hit by a shotgun blast. More concerning is the history of tension between the Rebels and the Bandidos.



In 2007, five Bandidos were accused of starting a blaze that destroyed the Rebels clubhouse in the inner-Brisbane suburb of Albion.

In Victoria, in 2008, Bandido Ross Brand, 51, was shot and killed outside the club's Geelong clubhouse. An associate of the Rebels was later convicted for that shooting.

Last November's shooting of Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Toby Mitchell remains unsolved.

Gold Coast police Superintendent Paul Ziebarth said police would `redouble' efforts to keep patrons safe and he vowed that police would continue to target the gangs.

"We won't stand idle while there are disturbances in public places where the community is confronted by violent individuals -- we will take action," he said.

"If we have so-called members of bikie gangs involved in punch-ups and disturbances in the street, it is not a good look for the community.

"The community expects us to do something to stamp that out and -- I can assure you -- (that) we have been.

"Wherever we find people doing the wrong thing, creating disturbances, being violent, we can and will apply for a banning order."

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