The State Opposition has accused police of not doing enough to tackle bikies
and said metal detectors could be used to stop weapons being taken into
nightclubs after a violent incident in Fremantle at the weekend.
The attack on the police came after three bouncers were stabbed in a
bikie-related brawl outside the Harbourside Hotel.
The three were taken to hospital. One was discharged on Saturday. Two were
still receiving treatment when Liberal leader Paul Omodei claimed that not
enough was being done to restore public confidence.
“I don’t think (police) are doing it well enough,” he said. “Stronger
penalties are the messages that need to get out there rather than the Police
Commissioner sitting in front of a desk telling people what to wear as far
as burglar beware is concerned.”
Mr Omodei said metal detectors were an option to prevent weapons being taken
in to nightspots. He said it was an operational matter for police, who
should also consider using surveillance arrangements including
closed-circuit TV and undercover officers.
Acting Police Commissioner Chris Dawson rejected the suggestion that police
were not doing enough. He said the State had a gang crime squad that
monitored and disrupted bikies’ activities. Four of five gang leaders were
“Anyone who thinks that police can stop all bikie gang members from
committing all offences is living in fairyland,” he said.
Influential Coffin Cheaters bikie Troy Mercanti was quizzed by police after
the fight. It is understood he was at the scene but was not a suspect in the
stabbings. It is understood the fight happened outside the hotel when
bouncers tried to eject a group of men believed to be bikies or their
associates. One anecdotal piece of information suggested the brawl happened
because the venue was
about to close when the group arrived. Case officer Det-Sgt Paul Boult said
no motive had been established.
None of the injuries was lifethreatening. Two men, aged 32 and 30, were in
hospital under armed guard. “A number of people are helping us with
inquiries,” Det-Sgt Boult said.
Police raided the Coffin Cheaters’ clubhouses in Fremantle and Bayswater.
They are appealing for witnesses.
Amanda Banks and Torrance Mendez
Fremantle stabbings caught on
Deputy Police Commissioner
Murray Lampard has confirmed detectives have video surveillance of
the stabbing of three security officers in Fremantle, south of
The security guards were
stabbed on Saturday morning in what is believed to be a
Senior Coffin Cheater Troy
Mercanti was one of several people questioned by police but he was
released without charge.
Mr Lampard says the police
will mount the strongest possible case against those believed to be
responsible for the stabbings.
"The reason why we haven't
arrested and charged anyone at this time [is] I've made it quite
clear that I want to make sure that all the evidence is there and
that we have a strong case to prosecute the people responsible," Mr
"We do have some very good
evidence both electronically and from members of the community."
Coffin Cheater interviewed over
Sunday Aug 6 13:43 AEST
West Australian police have
interviewed Coffin Cheater bikie club member Troy Mercanti over a stabbing
incident at a Fremantle nightclub.
Police said Mr Mercanti was one of
several people whom they believed witnessed the stabbing of three bouncers
at the Harbourside club at 4.45am (WST) on Saturday.
"A number of people are helping us
with our inquiries, including Mr Mercanti," a police spokesman said on
"I don't know the extent of his
Mercanti is on bail after pleading not guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court
to carrying an unlicensed firearm at a Perth nightclub in January 2005.
In May this year, a District Court
jury cleared him of unlawful wounding and attempting to pervert the course
of justice by allegedly trying to cover up the shooting.
Mercanti's firearm charge will next be
heard in court in October and if found guilty he could face three years in
jail and a $12,000 fine.
Two of the three bouncers admitted to
Fremantle hospital after Saturday morning's stabbing, are in a stable
A spokeswoman for Fremantle hospital
says the third bouncer who was stabbed has received medical attention and
Fremantle detectives and the WA Police
Gang Crime Unit are continuing their investigations into the Fremantle