Police have proposed ‘draconian’ orders to prohibit five Nomads from associating with gang members, driving at night and using Snapchat after a series of shootings.
The latest measure will be a state first and are part of moves to protect the public from bikies as a turf war continues in the Hunter region, according to top barrister Mark Tedeschi QC, acting on behalf of NSW Police.
Should the courts grant the orders, the crime prevention laws will restrict the movements of the five men and forbid them using any encryption communication platforms including WhatsApp, Snapchat, Wickr and Hushmail, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A raid on the Nomads clubhouse last weekend led to it being declared a restricted premises
The Newcastle chapter of the Nomads, who are part of escalating violence between rival bikie gangs around the city, north of Sydney
The restrictions would include not being allowed to enter any licensed premises in NSW or travelling in cars at night time over the next 12 months.
The group would be forced to hand their cellphones over to police and reveal passwords upon the command of officers.
The restrictions would be in accordance with those imposed on anyone regarded to be ‘involved in serious criminal activity’ – regardless if they have been convicted.
The orders would obtained under similar legislation applied to suspected terrorists.
The troubled has spanned across the Hunter Valley region, mainly in Newcastle and Maitland (pictured)
Despite a judge last week citing the orders were ‘draconian’, NSW Police Criminal Groups Commander Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace told The Saturday Telegraph it was the next best step.
‘We’d tried everything. We already had our toolbox — raids, arrests, FPOs, but the violence continued, so we reached out a little further.
‘It’s an attempt to not only curb violent behaviour, but also to have an impact on the way they’re trying to do business.’
Lawyer Chris O’Brien, the acting solicitor for the men, disagreed.
‘On behalf of each of the defendants the orders are opposed. The consequence of the orders being made are so oppressive that it could potential put each of the defendants out of work,’ he said.
Police have established Task Force Darnay in response to the violence and have shut down a number of bikie clubhouses across the region (pictured)
The extreme police response follows seven drive-by shootings and firebombings involving the gangs across the Hunter Valley, leaving locals scared, throughout the first nine weeks of this year.
The Newcastle chapters of the Finks and Nomads have seen their numbers rise in the first few months of 2018, as the two groups battle for supremacy in the region.
Police sources have told Daily Mail Australia they fear a bikie war could erupt, leading them to initiate a task force specifically to crack down on the local rival gangs before the violence turns deadly.
While much focus in recent weeks has been on bikie shootings across Sydney, just a few hours north tensions have been escalating over the past 12 months.
Where two years ago members of rival gangs would leave friendly comments to their rivals on Facebook, the goodwill appears to have dried up.
Since the start of 2018 there have been seven drive-by shootings and two bombings, leading police to warn a tit-for-tat war is on the verge of breaking out