A special law enforcement unit says it will be in Nanaimo this weekend to offer support to RCMP as the Hells Angels ride through town.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia noted in a press release today that it will be on the Island this weekend “to support our Island policing partners” during a Hells Angels 35th anniversary party and ride.
“It’s an anniversary party being held in Nanaimo and it’s to commemorate the 35 years since the inauguration of the Nanaimo chapter, Vancouver, White Rock and East End chapter,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “They’ll be in town on Friday, Saturday, departing on Sunday. They’ll have some local parties. Many will be staying in local hotels,” O’Brien said. “There’s no ride, per se. The only organized ride would be coming off the ferries.”
O’Brien said the gathering is a “fully sanctioned” Hells Angels Motorcycle Club event and police are expecting about 100 club members plus as many as 200 members from hang-around clubs to visit Nanaimo. The estimates match those of a CFSEU-BC, press release, which said it expects the Nanaimo get-together “will be attended by several other outlaw motorcycle gang members and groups,” with as many as 300 Hells Angels club members and other riders participating.
“It is no secret and is well documented that many of the participants of these such events are individuals and members of clubs associated to and who participate in criminal activity,” says Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC spokeswoman. “Police attend these events for many reasons, such as to deter any illegal activity and ensure public safety by way of an overt police presence”.
S/Sgt. Lindsey Houghton, CFSEU-BC advisory NCO, will be attending with uniform gang enforcement team members and will inform members of the public via Twitter at @LHoughtonCFSEU.
The annual anniverary celebration is rotated among the original Hells Angels B.C. chapters founded in 1983 in Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland.
“Of course, we’ll have sufficient manpower in town and we’ll have what’s called a measured response. We’ll deal with things accordingly if need to and we’ll assess any situation and apply the appropriate manpower,” O’Brien said.
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