A CONTROVERSIAL show of force by the NSW Police gangs squad at an Albion Park bike show has prompted the region’s social motorcycle riders to band together in protest.
More than 30 officers raided the Fourth Reich Motorcycle Club’s annual Custom Bike and Tattoo Show, Saturday, arresting three members of outlaw motorcycle gags.
Scores of non-members have since claimed they were subjected to harassment by Strike Force Raptor police who searched and photographed their cars and bikes, and issued fines for “minor” infringements.
Oak Flats rider Greg Jenkins, a member of the Albion Park-based social motorcycle club The Suns, said he attended the show to “look at bikes and support charity”, as the day is a fundraiser for the region’s aerial patrol.
Mr Jenkins said he was made to feel like a criminal after an officer stopped him at the entryway and photographed his bike and jacket.
“We’re not criminals, we’re just people who enjoy the freedom of a ride,” he told the Mercury.
“I used to sell motorbikes; I’ve sold them to doctors, lawyers, police, everyone.
“As a bike [rider] we probably do more for charity than the average person – if it’s a good cause I’ll put everything aside and go.
“We have little charity patches on our jackets. I’ve got another one that says, ‘Dads Against Daughters Dating: kill the worst, the rest will follow’.”
Mr Jenkins said police repeatedly asked him where his clubhouse was and called him a liar when he told them, “McDonald’s”.
He has created a new online community, Riders Against Discrimination, aimed at encouraging authorities to differentiate between outlaw motorcycle gangs and social clubs when dealing with riders.
The group’s petition gathered almost 250 signatures by late Wednesday morning, as Lake Illawarra Police Commander Superintendent Wayne Starling met an Albion Park woman caught up in Saturday’s fracas.
Ree Sutton was a passenger in a car that was stopped, searched and issued a defect notice for an oil leak as her partner Paul Mines drove into the show.
In a lengthy exchange with Mr Mines, a Strike Force Raptor officer told him: “Do you know why we’re targeting this club? … No. There you go. OK so stop giving this officer such a hard time. They’re [guilty of] sexual assault. Assaults. And standing over people ... you're supporting them. Get it through your thick head. That's why you're here with your bonnet up against the road, stupid.”