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No police to control bikies

Hells Angels

Hells Angels bikies have been getting away with driving faster than 130km/h because police say they are under-staffed. Source: The Daily Telegraph

POLICE admitted letting up to 40 Hells Angels bikies drive recklessly because too many officers went to the NZ quake.

Victoria Police said it "witnessed several riders breaking road rules" but did not take action because they did not have enough officers.

Instead, police tried to "provide a safe environment for other road users".

But a motorist who was run off the road said three officers in pursuit were driving more dangerously than the "suicidal behaviour" of the bikies.

"I was driving on cruise control at 100km/h but the Hells Angels bikies thundered past me like I was standing still," Grant, 42, from Melbourne said.

"They were overtaking on double white lines into the face of oncoming traffic, around blind bends and over the brow of a hill.

"It was bloody suicidal behaviour. They were missing cars by inches."

The incident happened on the Melbourne-Lancefield Rd, near Clarkefield, about 1pm on February 26. Grant, who does not want his surname published, said it was the police driving that nearly killed him and his wife.

"Two cars were following the group and travelling just as fast, tailgating me because they couldn't get past," he said.

"One of the cars overtook me on double lines and on a blind bend. It was only then I realised it was the police - it was unmarked and didn't have its lights going and I just thought it was part of the bikie gang. As the second car overtook me, again just as dangerous, the first car came to a complete halt in the middle of the road.

"The car was only about five car-lengths ahead of me. I had to brake really hard and swerve off the road to avoid smashing into the back of him. It was ridiculously irresponsible."

Grant stopped and spoke to the police, who had now been joined by a uniformed officer on a marked police motorbike.

The police car had stopped suddenly because the bikies had turned sharply into a side road and the police had missed the turning.

But when Grant asked why they had not stopped the dangerous bikie driving, the officers said they were "tasked to follow only".

And when Grant offered to give a statement, they refused, saying "we won't be booking anyone".

A police spokesman confirmed that, saying its resources were depleted when 100 officers were despatched to Christchurch to help following the earthquake.

"Police witnessed several riders breaking road rules but the priority at the time was to provide a safe environment for other road users.

"Police are currently reviewing all incidences regarding breaches of road traffic laws to determine whether further action should be taken."

Grant said he was "appalled and disgusted."

"My wife and I could have died that day.

"The bikie behaviour was terrifying, but in my eyes the police were worse because they didn't have their lights or sirens on and drove like maniacs.

"I expect them to keep me safe on the road - but not only were they not keeping the law - they were making it potentially deadly for me.

"Victoria Police needs to be answerable for what they did. I'm still shaken up by it and not having enough police is not a good enough answer."


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