OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANGS

Outlaw motorcycle gangs exist in every province of Canada. Their criminal enterprises cross provincial, national and international borders. police agencies work together to monitor expanding criminal operations and take enforcement action against those involved in criminal activities. 

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The city of Saskatoon is home to eight motorcycle clubs of the eighteen found in Saskatchewan that are part of the Saskatchewan Motorcycle Coalition.

 

Criminal Courts in many countries have deemed The Hell's Angels a criminal organization. During court proceedings in Ontario, The Hells Angels were deemed a National Criminal Organization. Several lower courts in Canada have also deemed them a criminal organization.

The Saskatoon Police Service recognizes that combating criminal organizations through means other than enforcement can be effective. The Drop Gangs program targets people who are contemplating getting involved and people who are currently involved in organized crime and street gangs. It will also provide education and awareness to the general public so they do not unwittingly support these criminal enterprises. 

Characteristics of an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

The courts have determined that outlaw motorcycle gangs have the following characteristics:

  • A hierarchical structure

  • Membership

  • Involves criteria, processes and regulations

  • Members may prove their permanent commitment via criminal acts

  • Associates

  • Colours

  • Clubhouse

  • Fortified and equipped with systems to protect against intrusion from rival groups or police raids

  • Club rules

  • Intelligence gathering

  • Criminal activity

Violence and Intimidation

Violence may be used by criminal groups as an offensive or defensive tactic and it can be premeditated or spontaneous, publicly undertaken or carried out covertly.

More sophisticated groups, at times, hire subordinate criminal groups or individuals to undertake violent acts on their behalf, while lower-level groups, such as some street gangs, have been known to engage directly in public displays of aggression and violence. 

Violence within organized crime groups is generally used to maintain internal discipline. 

Violence between Criminal groups may occur when they compete over territory or a particular illicit commodity, or retaliate against rivals. This violence can be undertaken in public areas, posing a threat to the public. 

When individuals outside of organized crime groups are targeted for violence or intimidation it is typically to further the interest of a criminal group.

A member of the Hells Angels waves towards photographers as he enters the Hells Angels Nomads compound during the group's Canada Run event in Carlsbad Springs, Ont., near Ottawa, on Saturday, July 23, 2016. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
www.bikertrashnetwork.com / Freewheelers MC caught up in drug bust / January 16, 2020.
Police stop members of the Los Diablos, a puppet club of the Hell Angels, in Nanaimo, BC, July, 21, 2018. PHOTO BY RICHARD LAM / Vancouver Sun
Globalnews.ca / Rebeka Lesko / Finał person sentenced in connection toproject forseti. / November 6, 2018.

Organized Crime and Legitimate Business

Some criminal groups operate businesses that are primarily intended to facilitate criminal activities. Others offer legitimate trade but also facilitate illicit enterprise, for example, trafficking drugs, smuggling contraband or laundering funds. 

  • Criminals may own or operate these businesses openly, conceal their dealings through nominees, or collude with, coerce, or deceive the owners or employees.

  • Corruption or coercion can be used to situate members of the criminal group within legitimate business and then use the business for illicit purposes.

  • Legitimate businesses can also enable criminal groups to distance themselves from criminal activities and provide an appearance of legitimacy.