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All quiet as bikers roll into town

LYN HUMPHREYS - Taranaki Daily News

Last updated 05:00 26/10/2010

Hawera vibrated to the sound of big motorcycles ridden by about 30 Hell's Angels and Red Devils during the long weekend.

Close on their tails were Auckland's specialist police motorcycle gang unit who also travelled into Taranaki this weekend to help keep an eye on the patched-up biker gang members.

"We stayed in Hawera and made sure things ran smoothly," New Plymouth CIB gang intelligence officer, Constable Nick Wilson, of the organised crime unit said yesterday.

The bikers, from Auckland, Whanganui and Nelson, gathered to enjoy a well-attended motorcycle and hot rod show organised by Hawera's Axethrowers.

"They all met up there and had a look at that," Mr Wilson said.

The Auckland Motorcycle Gang Unit was formed because of the large numbers in the city gangs. The unit's policy was to follow the gang members when they went out of town on a run, said Mr Wilson, who joined the three-strong unit for the long weekend.

Police were pleased they had no reports of problems caused by the gang members, who stuck to themselves, he said.

None were arrested.

However, it was good to have a police presence in the background during such gatherings, he said.

It was not a covert operation, with police openly walking around at the show at Hawera's A&P showgrounds.

"We were happy with the way things went," Mr Wilson said.

And the bikes and hot rods on display were an added bonus for the police. "They were very, very impressive," he said.

New Plymouth's Magogs, who have their own biennial bike show at Easter in the city, had their own stand at the show.

Hawera was back to normal by midday yesterday when most of the bikers had left town.



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