LIKE their better-known counterparts; the Hells Angles, Bandidos and Comancheros; the Outlaws Motorcycle Club of Australia is identified by the Australian Crime Commission as an outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG).
But if trouble was anticipated when upwards of 300 of their members rolled into South Gippsland last Friday from all over Australia, many of them stopping for lunch at the Middle Hotel in Korumburra, and then rolled out again in the afternoon headed for Foster, then this is a non-story. Nothing, or next to nothing happened.
Well, not nothing entirely.
Shadowing the group’s rumbling arrival into the area, and then spreading out in surrounding towns, was a large contingent of police, including reinforcements from the Public Order Response Team (PORT), a full-time public order and riot response unit of Victoria Police, ready to mobilise their forces anywhere in the start.
There was talk, after the terrifying incident happened in Melbourne last Friday afternoon, that they may be recalled but police said later this wasn’t a factor.
Police officer in charge of the operation, Senior Sergeant Peter Shallard of the Wonthaggi Police Station, was pleased to report there were no incidents.
“Victoria Police was aware of the Outlaws OMCG National Run on November 10 and 11 in eastern Victoria,” said Snr Sgt Shallard.
“Local police, Operations Response Unit, State Highway Patrol and Taskforce Echo members, along with AFP and our interstate counterparts closely monitored the ride so as swift action could be taken to detect and disrupt any OMCG members who commit crimes, road safety or public order offences.
“Victoria Police will continue to work with other agencies as part of a National approach to OMCG enforcement.
“We are always gathering intelligence with regards to the activities of persons engaged in criminal activity, including those persons who may also be associated with OMCGs.
“Our monitoring of OMCGs permits us to respond in an appropriate fashion if and when any risk of violence is anticipated.
“No arrests were made in relation to this run,” he said.
The message was the same elsewhere.
A spokesperson for the Korumburra Hotel said the motorcycle members came into the hotel exactly the same as any other patrons, “they sat down, had something to eat and left”.
“The feedback I got was they were polite and went about their business.”
The riders were headed for a four-day gathering at the Rumbug Camp, Dollar-Woorarra West Road, Foster North. They came in from all over Australia on Friday, including by ferry from Tasmania, and started to leave on Monday morning.
Business people in Foster said they didn’t see anything of the riders, nor were there reports of any trouble.
Members of the Public Order Response Team also spoke to locals, saying part of their role was to reassure the community about public safety.
Some also attended Remembrance Day services in the town’s they were stationed in.
Outlaw bikies roll in