Criticism of a crackdown on the Fourth Reich’s
annual charity event has angered some police who say sympathisers
should take a ‘’long, hard look’’ at why they accept outlaw groups
in their community.
‘’Have a look on their jackets. If they are
wearing a one per cent mark it’s saying they are part of the one per
cent of the community who refuse to follow the laws, that’s what
makes them outlaw,’’ one police source told the Mercury.
‘’If they are not committing crimes, they are not
involved in criminal activity then take the ‘one per cent’ patch
off, and the ‘’13’’ patch that identifies them as drug takers or
dealers. I would challenge them to do that,’’ the source said.
More than 30 police raided the Fourth Reich’s Custom Bike and Tattoo Show on Saturday – in a show of force led by the Sydney-based gang squad, Strike Force Raptor.
The action has been widely condemned by visitors
who claim they were harassed and fined for petty vehicle defects or
Lake Illawarra Area Commander Wayne Starling has stood by the action.
Other officers told the Mercury the motorcycle
gang had come to the attention of the strike force because of the
recent alleged criminal activity.
‘’This is a dedicated task force tackling serious
crime,’’ a source said.
‘’They will not be intimidated or put off.
‘’Police didn’t turn people away from the event,
they were simply honest about who was conducting the event.
‘’They told visitors the truth, that the event was
being run by an outlaw motorcycle gang. People who weren’t aware of
that fact left of their own accord.’’
The officers said the operation was the same show
of force that police would assign to any major event.
‘’Would we get criticised for bringing drug
detection dogs through a crowd at Bathurst or a dance party? I don’t
And if people wanted to donate money to the aerial
patrol they should ‘’send them a cheque’’.
‘’We don’t need good money going through the hands
of an outlaw gang. We don’t need children around 100 men who proudly
display a badge showing they are using or dealing drugs and
don’t abide by the law,’’ the officer said.
‘’The fact is this group came under the radar for
some serious stuff so it’s time they took a stand and kick out any
members who are breaking the law.
‘’There is some local sympathy for them and the
fact this is a charity event, but if they or anyone else is doing
the wrong thing, they should expect to suffer the consequences.
‘’We are the thin blue line standing between crime and the community so it’s our job to do what we have to do to protect.’’
The Mercury has attempted to contact members of the motorcycle gang.