There was a lot of rumbling in town over the weekend from increased motorcycle traffic on the roads.
According to Cpl. Gord Hay of the Campbell River RCMP, officers from that detachment, along with officers from around Vancouver Island and with support from members of the RCMPs Criminal Intelligence Service Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG) Unit were out in force Saturday to monitor a large gathering of Hells Angels and their outlaw motorcycle gang supporters as they ride in Campbell River for the annual BC Run.
“Police had information that there would be an increased number of motorcyclists on our roads (Saturday), specifically Hells Angels, the Devils Army, and other outlaw motorcycle gang members. This run is, to the OMG groups, a mandatory ride and OMG members are expected to attend,” Hay said in a release. “It is our job, along with our policing partners, to monitor the events and to ensure any potential for violence is mitigated. In the case of this organized ride, police are also here to ensure the rules of the road are followed and the motoring public are safe.”
Like previous years, outlaw biker groups host or attend two dozen or more events throughout the province during the spring and summer months, according to the police.
Seeing a crowd of bikers rolling into a town or down the province’s highways can be intimidating for the public, which is why police devote the resources to monitoring them.
“Our presence at these events is dual purpose,” Hay said. “Police are here to reassure the public and to enforce the laws of our province.”
Criminal Organization legislation was enacted in 2001 and in subsequent criminal prosecutions members of OMGs have been identified as being part of a Criminal Organization.
Previous investigations have made it clear that members of the Hells Angels and other OMGs are involved in drugs, weapons, and violence-related offences. It’s no secret that certain members of outlaw motorcycle groups are prone to violence.
“Working hard to pre-empt any potential for violent conflict is a key component of our integrated strategy one that goes a long way to ensuring the safety of British Columbians,” Hay said.
There were no major incidents during this weekend’s gathering.