NSW Police Force’s Strike Force Raptor joined interstate law enforcement colleagues to uphold community safety as Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) members travelled to Tasmania for their National Run, NSW Police say.
Specialist police from across Australia joined Tasmania Police to conduct the operation between Wednesday (22 November 2017) and Saturday (25 November 2017), as members of the Bandidos OMCG made their way to and from Tasmania for the national run on Friday (24 November 2017).
As part of the operation, Strike Force Raptor, assisted by Albury Local Area Command, Southern Region Operations Support Group, and Victoria Police, conducted roadside breath-testing on the Hume Highway as OMCG members arrived in Albury on Wednesday.
Officers stopped 28 motorcycles and three cars, and issued 35 traffic infringement notices (TINs), defected 14 vehicles, including 10 major grounding defects on motorcycles, which were towed from the area.
In addition, police issued dozens of consorting warnings at the location.
Later in the evening, police conducted Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) searches at a home of an OMCG prospect at North Albury and a brothel at Albury, where they seized prohibited drugs.
The following day (Thursday 23 November 2017), Strike Force Raptor conducted FPO searches at the home of OMCG associates at Springdale Heights and Corowa, and in five OMCG members’ hotel rooms in Albury.
At the Corowa home, officers seized an electronic control device, a homemade mace, 37 cannabis plants, and cannabis. Inquiries are continuing into the items, and charges are expected.
A further two vehicles required towing after being issued with major grounding defects, and five TINs were issued.
Officers from Strike Force Raptor were then sworn in as special constables to assist the Tasmania Police-led operation, which targeted more than 300 Bandidos OMCG members participating in the national run between Devonport and Burnie on Friday.
The operation included vehicle checks, targeted drug and alcohol testing, and monitoring for anti-social and criminal behaviour, to minimise the impact of the event on the community.
No major incidents occurred during the police operation.
Gangs Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace, said Strike Force Raptor was proud to be invited by Tasmania Police to assist with the operation.
“Over the past decade, the NSW Police Force has dedicated significant resources to targeting and disrupting the activities and ‘businesses’ of outlaw motorcycle gangs, with great success,” Det Supt Wallace said.
“This targeting has been in cooperation with our law enforcement colleagues around the country to reduce overt acts of violence and reduced the impact of OMCG activity to the law-abiding community.
“The success of last week’s operation is a testament to the planning of Tasmania Police and the solid working relationships and information sharing between jurisdictions,” Det Supt Wallace said.
Strike Force Raptor was established by State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad in 2009. It is a proactive and high-impact operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs and any associated criminal enterprises.
Anyone with information to assist police is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.