February 05, 2018

Police storm Nomads’ Islington clubhouse after 'restricted premises' declaration

“COURT order!” police screamed before kicking down the door. Police have sealed the fate of the Islington clubhouse of the Newcastle chapter of the Nomads bikie gang. Heavily-armed police attached the anti-bikie squad Strike Force Raptor stormed the Chinchen Street clubhouse at 7pm on Monday after the Supreme Court declared the property a “restricted premises” four hours earlier.

The ruling gives police the extraordinary power to enter the property at any time and prevents convicted criminals from meeting at the clubhouse. The Newcastle Herald was told anyone who meets at the clubhouse with a criminal record would be charged. The owner of the property would also be charged.

Detectives drilled a notice sign declaring the property a restricted premises to front wall of the clubhouse.
“That’s it – it’s over. The clubhouse is no more,” one police officer said.
“It’s not worth it for them.”

The Chinchen Street clubhouse was previously gutted by police on November 7, 2016, and has been monitored by detectives ever since.
Motorbikes in the Islington clubhouse of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang.
Motorbikes in the Islington clubhouse of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang.

During the 2016 raid, Strike Force Raptor detectives seized alcohol and anything else deemed to be associated with an outlaw motorcycle gang. Police have become increasingly frustrated at tit-for-tat attacks between rival gangs in the Hunter over the past year and held concerns a member of the public would be caught in the crossfire.

The feud, mainly between the Nomads and Finks, comes at a time the Finks’ influence in the region is increasing. The latest payback attack came as recently as last week when a Gillieston Heights home was sprayed with bullets on Friday morning. The Islington clubhouse was firebombed on January 4 with “several” Molotov cocktails thrown into the house in the early morning.

Detectives spent several hours on Monday night seizing items from the clubhouse, including large amounts of alcohol and memorabilia from the pool room. There were no Nomads members at the clubhouse at the time of the raid. One motorbike bore the number plate “NFF14” – an acronym for Nomads Forever Forever Nomads.
The Supreme Court declared the Islington clubhouse a 'restricted premises'.
The Supreme Court declared the Islington clubhouse a 'restricted premises'.

There was a makeshift bar containing beer and dozens of bottles and cans of spirits.
On the wall were flags and jackets promoting decades of loyalty and photographs of members past and present. Upstairs, where senior members gather, there was one old leather couch, two mattresses and nothing else. The Chinchen Street clubhouse is regarded as one of the oldest continuous clubhouses in the region and has been there for decades.

Police believe there are fewer than 15 fully-fledged bikie clubhouses still in operation in NSW.


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