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Strike Force Raptor out in force at Fourth Reich's annual Albion Park show

An estimated 30 police officers, many attached to Strike Force Raptor, were a near-constant presence at the Croome Lane club headquarters on Saturday. Picture: Robert Peet

An estimated 30 police officers, many attached to Strike Force Raptor, were a near-constant presence at the Croome Lane club headquarters on Saturday. Picture: Robert Peet

SCORES of visitors to a Fourth Reich Motorcycle Club bike show at Albion Park are alleging police harassment after they were slapped with traffic infringements, vehicle defect notices and consorting warnings.

Officers from Strike Force Raptor turned out en masse for the club's annual Custom Bike and Tattoo Show family open day, Saturday.

Visitors have told the Mercury police discouraged them from entering the Croome Lane event, then fined them for petty or concocted offences.

One man was fined for having his elbow protruding from his stationary car. 

According to reports on social media, police also fined a ute driver $1000 for an unsecured load consisting of an empty can and pizza box. 

Another driver was reportedly fined $400 for an unsecured load consisting of an esky on the car’s back seat.

Albion Park man Paul Mines has written to the state’s police commissioner detailing the circumstances leading to his defect notice.

Mr Mines claims a police officer listed a series of club members who had been convicted of crimes and asked him, “these are all members of the Fourth Reich, and you’re going to give your money to them?” 

"I said, ‘I don’t know these people …  It’s nothing to do with me’,” Mr Mines said.

“They said, if you’ve got an attitude like that, you can park your car over there; we’re going to do a full license check on your history.” 

Mr Mines was issued a defect notice for an oil leak he said was discovered “without looking under the vehicle”. 

The officer told Mr Mines: “you’re going to be in our system as associated with the Fourth Reich. That means any time police see you, this is going to happen”. 

Mr Mines, 46, says he visits the show to “buy a t-shirt and have a look at the bikes”. 

Complaints about the police presence have been widely circulated on social media. 

In a post to Facebook, Sharon Parkes described police encounters that had brought her “to boiling point”. 

“This is the violation of our freedom that I have been fighting against for the last couple of years … one guy in his car was given a fine in the queue at the gate to get in when he took off his seatbelt to get his wallet out of his back pocket FFS!”

Another woman, Lisa Nyrhinen, said she and her son were scared by “what police did to … one man”.

“My son must have thought about it all night and he said this morning, ‘I don't like the police any more - they scare me. You said they'd help me but they didn't help that guy yesterday who didn't do anything’.” 

The day is a 22-year-old tradition that raises money for the region’s aerial patrol. It is unclear why it piqued the interest of the State Crime Command’s six-year-old Strike Force Raptor this year.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said the operation was “a normal police response to an event of this kind … designed to ensure public safety”. 

“Police conducted random breath testing, licensed-business inspections, and Drug Dog inspections.” 

Police arrested and charged three OMCG members at the event for allegedly assaulting police and “other offences”. 

According to police, the event resulted in 64 traffic infringement notices, 12 vehicle defect notices, and 12 consorting warnings.

Shellharbour woman Gemma and her partner were fined for five separate defects or infringements. She challenges the police figures. 

“The [fine-issuing officer] said he’d issued about 200 fines that day and about 33 defects,” said Gemma, who would not provide her surname.

“My car passed blue slip three months ago with the exact tyres that were [the subject of a defect notice].  

“He also fined me for not having my P-plates displayed properly. We were just disgusted.” 

Eight people were excluded from the club’s licensed area, and one criminal infringement notice was issued for offensive language. Police also seized a quantity of cannabis.

The operation was assisted by Lake Illawarra Local Area Command, Southern Region Operational Support Group, the Dog Squad, and the Alcohol Licensing Enforcement Command.



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