When Canberra woke on Sunday to news of the violent death of a senior member of the Comancheros outlaw motorcycle gang, it created a frisson of fear about the potential fallout of this incident into the wider community.
The concern is a real one, and the extent of ACT and national police resources dedicated to targeting and disrupting the activities of bikie gangs bears that out.
In Canberra, a dedicated specialist team, Taskforce Nemesis, was formed in 2014 to perform this task as well as gather local intelligence on serious and organised crime, and look at how bikie gangs link their activities to other criminal organisations.
Nemesis received a $6.4 million funding injection in 2016, and a further $1.6 million in 2018 which added intelligence-gathering and the services of two forensic accountants specifically to track the gangs' sophisticated money-laundering operations.
Operating from a secure section within the Winchester Police Centre, Nemesis is a local police team which can tap into a range of national resources, such as the Australian Federal Police's National Anti-Gang Taskforce, the Australian Gangs Intelligence Coordination Centre and National Task Force Morpheus, which connects the states' and territories' efforts to drive national projects and response strategies.
Outside the ACT, millions of dollars are being spent at a Commonwealth, state and territory level on anti-gangs activity in the knowledge that outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) chapters are inter-connected across state borders, well-resourced and wise to the age-old police strategies of phone taps and bugging devices.
Police in the ACT maintain that bikie numbers in Canberra have flat-lined since 2018.
Where there were once five gangs operating, there are now four with chapters in the ACT: the Comancheros, the Rebels, the Nomads and the Satudarah. The Finks attempted to set up a local chapter here in 2018 but were unsuccessful.
The newly emerged European-based Satudarah, which had grown quickly in 2018-19 after a vigorous recruitment campaign generated by the gang's powerful chapters in NSW, was fragmented here after successive chapter presidents were imprisoned for various offences.
For decades, the Rebels had been Canberra's largest and most dominant gang, with chapters and clubhouses in the north and south of the territory, organised and well-run to the extent that others were unable to establish a foothold.
However, in the past 12-18 month the Comancheros have risen steadily to prominence as the territory's largest and most influential bikie gang.
Yet by interstate standards, membership numbers in Canberra remain small.
Police believe that where the ACT had around 80-90 fully patched and associate gang members around two years ago, that number has now approximately halved under the sustained pressure of its targeted disruption activity.
Last year police charged 36 outlaw motorcycle gang members with 80 offences, conducted 35 raids, and seized 12 firearms.
The steadily rising influence of the Comancheros has been an observable trend as the Rebels' grip on the national capital has eased.
Former Rebels member Alex Bourne was a notorious and influential Canberra member who "patched over" to the Comancheros in 2017 and brought others with him, providing his new gang with a much-needed enforcer status necessary to protect its newly-won territory.
In one notable incident, Bourne used a sledgehammer to smash the hand of a drug dealer who had his gang-supplied drugs stolen and was unable to repay his debt.
But Bourne's enforcer status with his new gang was short-lived.
In 2018 he was sentenced on various charges, including inflicting grievous bodily harm and receiving stolen property, and was sentenced to nine years' jail in the ACT. Last year he was transferred to Goulburn's Supermax prison in preparation for facing further charges on NSW offences.
The lengths to which one nominee for Comanchero membership was willing to go to obtain his "patch" was publicly exposed in the ACT Supreme Court in the 2019 trial of 25-year-old Axel Sidaros, who shot up the home of a former chapter boss, Peter Zdravkovic, while a co-offender torched three of his cars.
Sidaros attempted to flee the country after the attack but was caught and charged with seven offences, for which he is serving 14 years' jail in the ACT's Alexander Maconochie Centre.
Drugs and firearms are the stock-in-trade of the bikie gang product supply chain.
However, while the traditional perception of bikies as the so-called "one-percenters", or outlaws of the community still exists, it has shifted slightly in recent years.
Some senior members, such as Canberra Comanchero chapter president "Soni" Ulavalu who was killed in the weekend nightclub brawl in Civic, also run legitimate businesses or work in conventional jobs, and have families.
The criminality of the gangs, and being part of an organisation in which the members can be relied on to follow orders, support each other and as a "brotherhood", act with a common purpose, still provides a strong foil to police disruption.
Similarly, the stronger the "brotherhood" between gang members, as is the case with the Comancheros in the ACT, the more resistant the gang is to external pressures and the potential loss of members - "patch-overs" - to rival clubs.
In the OMCG world, the stronger the brand integrity is, the more potential members it attracts and the broader it can extend its operations.