The West

Police warn young men of bikie perils

Young men lured into bikie gangs are putting themselves and their families in danger of being bashed and extorted, police warn.

Police have highlighted the case of one young man who is now in hiding and his family in fear after an outlaw motorcycle club rejected him.

The man and his brother had been accepted as nominees and were soon committing crimes on club orders.

But after what police describe as "personality clashes" with patched members, one brother was brutally bashed and fined $20,000.

Gang members took his motorbike and forced him to black out club tattoos on his arms.

Acting Det-Sen. Sgt Dean Lampard said the young man had gone into hiding and the gang was now chasing his relatives over his debts.

Police warn the nine bikie gangs in WA are on a major recruiting drive in their battle for supremacy.

More clubs, attracted by WA's wealth, are trying to gain a foothold, while established gangs are fighting to protect their criminal enterprises, which include drug trafficking and prostitution.

The clubs target "vulnerable" men in their early twenties and, with their culture of brotherhood and a strong hierarchy, portray themselves as a powerful new "family".

Potential members are lured with party invitations and free drinks.

But they were soon required to display their loyalty by committing crimes such as drug trafficking, assaults, extortion and burglaries, Acting Det-Sen. Sgt Lampard said.

They are also forced to buy Harley-Davidson motorbikes with loans provided by the gang, quickly putting them in debt and under control.

If gang members feel a nominee has stepped out of line or ignored instructions, they are bashed and fined.

Those thrown out of the club face minimum $10,000 fines, are forced to sign ownership of their motorcycle back to the club and are often badly bashed, police claim.

Acting Det-Sen. Sgt Lampard said if they had not paid their "debts", the gangs would threaten their families and friends.

Those committing crimes also became police targets.

Police urge people to contact them on 1800 333 000 during the "dob in a bikie" campaign tomorrow.

'If they had not paid their 'debts', the gangs would threaten their families and friends.'" *Acting Det-Sen. Sgt Lampard *

The West Australian

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