By David Weber-abc.net.au
WA Police have pledged more than 100 officers to a new taskforce aimed at cracking down on organised crime in the wake of the public shooting of former Rebels president Nick Martin.
- Nick Martin was the former leader of the Rebels bikie gang
- He was murdered in the stands of the Perth Motorplex
- Police have targeted other bikie gang properties in raids overnight
Mr Martin, 51, was shot dead at the Perth Motorplex in Kwinana on Saturday night, as a racing event was being held.
Another man — a patched member of the Rebels gang — was shot and a five-year-old child suffered a minor injury during the shooting.
Police say they are taking the fight back to the gangs in Western Australia.
Last night police carried out a series of raids across Perth on clubhouses and properties linked to bikie gangs including the Hells Angels and Mongols.
Today WA Police State Crime Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce announced the start of Operation Ravello — consisting of more than 100 officers from various specialist departments.
Assistant Commissioner Royce said while the incident was currently a homicide investigation, police were taking a “bigger picture” approach.
“To ensure that the community remains safe, we’re taking the fight back to the gangs in Western Australia,” he said.
“I can assure you that all gangs, whether they’re involved in this or not, are going to be seeing a lot more attention from WA Police and our partners.
“If we come we will be coming in force, we make no apology for that.
“If the 1 per cent want to come out into our community and commit acts of violence where we go, and with our families, then we’ll go into their community.”
‘Early days’ in murder investigation
Assistant Commissioner Royce said it was “early days” in the investigation into the shooting of Mr Martin at the Motorplex.
He did not comment on where the shooter may have located.
“We work with ballistics experts and we track the information and the evidence,” he said.
“Anyone can take a long shot if they’re not worried about collateral damage, so only a murderer’s not going to worry about families sitting right round the area.”
He said police could not yet say for sure whether Mr Martin was the intended target.
Officers had still not been able to speak to Ricky Chapman — a patched member of the Rebels — who was injured in the incident.
Assistant Commissioner Royce said while police believed Martin was no longer president of the Rebels, that could have changed.
“What they do internally is often shrouded in their own secrecy and they have their own reasons for it, I can’t confirm today exactly what role Nick Martin held on Saturday night,” he said.
“It was our impression Nick Martin was no longer president of the Rebels but we accept that could change daily”.
Raids carried out across Perth
Gang Crime Squad officers have searched Hells Angels and Mongols clubhouses, as well as a home of associates in Shoalwater.
At the Shoalwater property, a shotgun, four rifles, two silencers and ammunition were seized, along with cannabis plants.
A 71-year-old Mongols associate has been charged with unlicensed possession of firearms, two counts of possessing a silencer, unlicensed possession of ammunition and cultivate a prohibited plant.
He is scheduled to appear in Rockingham Magistrates’ Court next Monday.
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It is alleged cocaine was found at the Mongols clubhouse.
A 30-year-old man from Newman has been charged with breaching a post-sentence supervision order, and a 33-year-old man from Ashby has been charged with drug possession.
At the Hells Angels clubhouse, police say weapons and prescription medications were located.