Anti-bikie strike force to investigate feud between rival Hunter gangs

GANGBUSTERS: Strike Force Raptor detectives at the Islington headquarters of the Nomads bikie gang last week. Police have announced a new strike force to tackle Hunter bikies.FRUSTRATED policehave raised the stakes in the fight against feuding Hunter bikie gangs after confirmation authorities will establish ananti-bikie strike force for the region.

News of the announcement came a day after another brazen drive-by shooting in Tenambit on Tuesday night – the same home that had been shot at a month ago – and the third public shooting inMaitland this year.

The shootings follow anescalation in bikie tensions, primarily between the Nomads and Finks outlaw motorcycle gangs, stemming from a feud that has simmered for more than a year and spilled out into a series of tit-for-tatattacks.

READ MORE: Police storm Nomads’ Islington clubhouse

Police confirmed Strike Force Darnay would be made up of highly trained detectives from across the region, and bolstered with members from theState Crime Command’s highly successful Strike Force Raptor.

The focus of the new strike force would be trained on bringing down those responsible for the attacks.

“The message I want to get out to the public is that these are not random shootings – they are targeted,” Port Stephens/Hunter Detective Superintendent Craig Jackson said on Wednesday.

“I want to allay any public fears in relation to that and they will be subject to investigation.”

Detective Superintendent Jackson added: “Any public place shooting is a concern for us.

Bullet holes seen in a Gillieston Heights home after a shooting earlier this month. Picture: Simon McCarthy

“Any criminal organisation that is involved in this will be subject to investigation and there are a number of inquiries being conducted.

“Some of those will involve outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

READ MORE: The old rules helping cops shut down bikie clubhouses

No one was inside the home on Clarence Street, Tenambit, when it was sprayed with bullets from a car shortly before 10pm on Tuesday.

The bullet holes had barely been patched over from when the same house was shot at on January 17.

Another early-morning shooting took place at a Gillieston Heights home onFebruary 2.

Last weekpolice landed a blow on the Newcastle chapter of the Nomads bikie gang after the NSW Supreme Court declared their Islington clubhouse a “restricted premises”. The Restricted Premises Act 1943 prevents criminals from gathering at the clubhouse.