BIKER GANGS have spread a silent network of organised crime across the UK – with strongholds in TWO cities, an insider has revealed.
Bikers, synonymous with Harley Davidsons and leather jackets, have brought violence and mayhem from Scotland to Surrey.
Most may associate gangs with the wide open roads of US and Australia, but an ex-biker has revealed that they are very much alive in Britain.
Motorcycle clubs such as the Hells Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws,Vikings and Satans Slaves rule the roost on our roads.
Prospective members are subject to brutal initiation rituals and must adhere to a strict code sometimes known as the "Holy Bible."
Motorcycle club members must wear patches , normally on the back of a leather or denim jacket.
The patch includes the club name, club colours and their territory.
They are deemed to be sacrosanct and MC members will fight at the drop of a hat to protect the patch.
Now a member of a British biker club has spoken to The Sun on condition of anonymity.
He said the gangs were operating in silence across the country but were particularly strong in Manchester, Liverpool, and the surrounding north west region.
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The rider told The Sun: "I think the influence of bikers is very much under the radar.
"But in the north west, around Manchester and Liverpool, it is very strong. The thing is you can't see it."
He said Hells Angels use tactics more associated with drug gangs and terrorist organisations.
The biker, in his late 30s, described how members of the notorious MC targeted him in the street.
He said: "So they all had balaclavas on like the IRA. I hit the first one and he went down.
"But then the rest were on me. They had tools ( weapons) and just battered me.
"They smashed my hands to bits."
I have seen it all. Fighting, knives, everything. Close friends of mine have been stabbed to bits. All biker related.
The breaking of hands is a common method used by bikers to stop enemies from riding a motorcycle.
The former prisoner said: "I was approached, or head hunted, by bikers in 2019.
"That is how I got involved. They wanted me on board because of my reputation."
He told The Sun that in the UK the motorcycle organisations were clubs and not gangs – but members of the clubs are involved in crime.
He said: "The big names such as The Hells Angels, Bandidos and Outlaws are clubs. They have presidents, and a clubhouse too. "
The biker added: "There is a lot of ex-military in the biking community. There are also people like me who have been inside.
"I think the clubs attract people who have had troubled upbringings. My background is typical really.
"We craved some kind of structure. In a way the clubs provide members with a new family."
He said that he had seen bikers involved in serious violence.
He said: "I have seen it all. Fighting, knives, everything. Close friends of mine have been stabbed to bits. All biker related."
But added: "For me its all about the riding. I have three Harleys and they are pure joy.
"I can't describe the feeling of riding with a sunset behind you, or racing trying to stay ahead of the rain. I have met so called bikers who don't have bikes. To me they are a joke."
BIKER NETWORK IN THE UK
The biggest and most notorious biker gangs in the UK and where they operate:
Hells Angels -They have charters across England, Wales and Ireland. The Angels are particularly strong in south-east England.
Bandidos – Across Englandbut strongly associated with Devon and Cornwall
Outlaws – Prevalent across England and Wales but particularly associated with the midlands
Vikings – Associated with the Surrey area. Also have a presence in Ireland.
Satans Slaves -Founded in Yorkshire and strongly associated with the north of England and Scotland
Blue Angels – Founded in Glasgow in the 1960s. The bikers formed an alliance with London's Road Rats in the 1970s.
DRUGS AND GUNS
Founded in the US by battle hardened World War Two veterans in the late 1940s, motorcycle clubs provided former soldiers with an outlet as they made the painful adjustment to civilian life.
Crime author Peter Walsh said that international biker gangs have often been linked to guns and drugs trafficking.
Peter, author of Drug War: The Secret History, said to The Sun: "Outlaw biker gangs are highly active in certain fields of crime, mainly firearms and drug trafficking, vehicle theft, strong-arm work and extortion.
Outlaw biker gangs are highly active in certain fields of crime, mainly firearms and drug trafficking, vehicle theft, strong-arm work and extortion.
"They have been cited as a threat in British police intelligence reports for at least thirty years, and have built strong, secretive international networks, through close links with biker ‘chapters’ or clubs in other countries around the world.
"But they have never made a major impact in the organised crime scene in UK cities, where powerful local criminals generally hold sway.
"They are more significant in smaller towns and rural areas and tend to operate within their own world, outside the norms and bounds of everyday life."
DEATH ON THE ROAD
While UK riders may lack the major criminal connections of chapters in the US – their rivalaries have resulted in bloodshed and death.
David Crawford, a member of the Red Chiefs Motorcycle Club, was mowed down by rival bikers last year.
The 59-year-old had been riding on the A38 in Plymouth, Devon, when he was spotted by three members of Bandidos Motorcycle Club, a court heard.
They were said to be furious that he was wearing his Red Chiefs patch on their turf.
Blood-thirsty for revenge they "deliberately targeted" the grandad, a member of Red Chiefs which is affiliated with Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, prosecutors said.
Dashcam footage played to the jury showed Parry's Transit slamming into the back of the victim's Kawasaki motorcycle.
Mr Crawford was initially knocked onto the bonnet and then under the vehicle, before being dragged along the tarmac.
In 2018, a biker was left in a pool of his own blood by a gang of Hells Angels after he refused to join their Sussex chapter.
Hells Angels support crew member Christoper Harrison, 53, was left partially blind by the riders after he said he was “too old”to join the gang full time.
MC rivalries in Scotland spilt blood on the roads when Glagow-based gang Blue Angels clashed with rivals from the Nomads, in September 2018.
Blue Angels member Ian Ewin, 44, and a group from his gang, used a car to plough into Colin Sutherland and three other Nomads – knocking them off their bikes.
The mob then attacked their victims with weapons including hammers and baseball bats.
Ewin was later jailed for seven years for attempted murder.
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Peter Walsh explained that UK gangs are more occupied by fighting each other and will not focus on normal people.
He said: "Their worst violence is usually confined to internal feuds or conflicts between rival clubs, rather than spilling over to endanger the public."
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