NEW GANG ALERT
Siblings of violent offenders now menace suburbs
A NEW youth gang calling itself BDK — “Blood Drill Killers” — has been linked to a spate of robberies and brawls in St Albans and on Melbourne’s bayside.
Police are trying to smash the gang and lock up as many offenders as possible before New Year’s Eve, amid fears its young members are becoming increasingly violent. Some are aged just 14.
The Sunday Herald Sun has been told members of the gang, mostly comprising teenage boys of African background, are younger brothers of more “hardcore” groups Menace to Society and Apex.
Victoria Police is so concerned about the gang’s escalating behaviour that on Friday senior command requested strict bail conditions for a 17-year-old alleged associate.
An assistant commissioner asked that the teen be banned from Melbourne’s western suburbs where BDK
members are known to roam. Police have identified several BDK members during investigations into a violent brawl in St Albans last week which left one man in hospital.
The Sunday Herald Sun has learned several young BDK members also helped older Menace to Society members during brazen robberies and assaults committed on the St Kilda foreshore in recent weeks.
Most of the youths who claim to be BDK members are believed to have met at school and through family links, and tend to mobilise through social media.
A young associate recently filmed police raiding his home and uploaded the footage to the gang’s Snapchat account, which detectives have been watching.
The 17-year-old was among eight youths who fronted a children’s court on Friday charged with robbery and affray following two incidents in St Albans this month.
Police argued against the boy’s release, fearing he would meet up with members of BDK who were involved in a violent Christmas Eve clash with Vietnamese traders on Alfrieda St in St Albans.
A detective from the Wayward Taskforce, which targets youth offending, told the court the teen represented an unacceptable risk of reoffending and endangering the safety of the public.
“I’m concerned that if he is released he will join up with those other members of BDK and engage in (another) affray at (Alfrieda St),” he said.
The boy was charged with robbery after he and four other youths allegedly stole a man’s phone and wallet and kicked and punched him in the head on December 19. He is not believed to have been involved in the brawl five days later.
Prosecutors told the court an assistant commissioner had asked that the boy be banned from the entire City of Brimbank, which includes St Albans and Sunshine — areas frequented by BDK.
He was eventually granted bail with the condition he not enter St Albans.
BDK is considered less dangerous than MTS, whose members are older. BDK has no formal membership and members focus on pickpocketing and less-serious crimes such as phone robberies.
But there are fears of escalating violence as seen in the St Albans fight, in which wooden bats and chairs were used as weapons.
It’s understood police in the western suburbs regularly “engage” with members and associates of the gang, sometimes several times a week.
Police are gathering intelligence about youths who make plans to travel to popular foreshores to terrorise beachgoers and embark on robbery sprees.
The Sunday Herald Sun has confirmed a Menace to Society ringleader was among a group of youths who violently attacked beachgoers in St Kilda in recent weeks.
St Kilda, Chelsea and Altona foreshores are a focus of police operations to stamp out summer thuggery.
On Friday a fight broke out at St Kilda foreshore when activist Neil Erikson — linked to the United Patriots Front — filmed young men of African appearance despite police requests to move on.