Bikie boss’ killer may be among mourners at funeral
Hundreds of mourners will turn out for the biggest bikie funeral in a generation today - and among them could be those responsible for Nick Martin's murder.
Police will not only monitor the huge funeral procession for the slain Rebels boss to maintain public safety as the funeral ride roars from a North Perth funeral home to Pinnaroo Cemetery, but also to gather intelligence in a bid to help crack the case of his assassination
Hundreds of Rebels bikies are expected to accompany his casket, with more than 200 police to escort them along their route via Scarborough Beach Road and West Coast Highway.
More than 500 mourners are expected, with bikies from across WA and Australia attending along with a who's who of the West Australian underworld.
Martin was shot dead by a sniper at the Perth Motorplex on December 12.
The professional nature of the hit has police considering the involvement of Australian soldiers.
While the killer themselves may not show up today, those who ordered the execution most likely will.
A special police taskforce set up in the wake of Martin's murder, codenamed Taskforce Ravello, has been tight-lipped on potential leads but it is expected police will closely watch those attending the funeral for clues that could crack the case.
Bikie expert Mark Lauchs, from the Queensland University of Technology, said police would use the funeral to collect intelligence on "multiple levels".
"They could be looking for clues," he said.
"Maybe who doesn't attend could be as important as who does.
"Police record every individual, who they are with and whether they have a patch on. They will also look to see who else comes and the club associates as well.
"Having other people who are not well-known in the bikie criminal community is just a bonus."
Mr Lauchs said he expected all Rebels members would wear their patches to the funeral.
"Attending and showing your membership would be very important," he said.
"Other clubs in the bikie community usually go along … to show support."
Uniformed police, detectives and special officers from the Tactical Response Group will be on standby around the funeral venue, as well as inside, to keep emotion-fuelled tension at bay.
Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce said police were expecting "a very large number of mourners" to attend the funeral, including members of multiple gangs - and some from interstate.
However, he assured the public there will be "significantly boosted" police resources on hand, including the Tactical Response Group.
A procession of about 200 bikes - escorted by traffic police - will leave North Perth after 10am local time ahead of a service at the cemetery just after midday local time.
Police will also closely monitor a wake to be held at the Rebels clubhouse in East Victoria Park and other licenced venues around Perth.
"While you'll be very safe and police will be everywhere, if you do have to get around town tomorrow, perhaps avoid those areas if you can," Mr Royce said.
Despite significant resources being dedicated to Martin's funeral, said other police operations would continue as normal.
The gathering is shaping up to be the biggest bikie funeral in WA since Coffin Cheater Marc Chabriere was laid to rest in 1998.
Martin was sitting in the crowd at the Motorplex last Saturday night when he was killed by a single shot that also wounded former Bandido Ricky Chapman and a five-year-old boy.
Hundreds of motorsport fans witnessed the aftermath but many did not realise he had been shot.
In the wake of the hit, police told Martin's family the shot could have been taken from up to 300m away.
Originally published as Bikie boss' killer may be among mourners at funeral