34 arrested in Hells Angels drugs and weapons swoop

After police cancel holiday in anticipation of the Hells Angels Euro Run, special stop and search powers lead to 34 arrests

Hells Angels

POLICE in the United Kingdom have arrested 34 people in connection with the infamous Hells Angels Motorcycle Club after being granted special ‘stop and search’ powers to crack down on anti-social behaviour during an event to mark its 50th anniversary.

The Hells Angels Euro Run marks a half-century since the California-based motorcycle club set up shop in the UK having become notorious during 1960s America for violence and organised crime.

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A ‘ride-out’ of 3,000 bikers is expected this weekend, with law enforcement in Sussex and Surrey even going to the extent of cancelling its staff’s holiday leave in anticipation of needing greater man power to police the event.

Having been granted special dispensation to use stop and search powers within a designated area across the counties, a total of 12 people – five Germans, three Hungarians, one Swiss, one French, one Czech and a Greek man - were charged over drugs offences and the possession of weapons.

According to the BBC, seven have already appeared in court and handed suspended prison sentences with five due to appear in court later.

The procession – which will run from Pease Pottage on Saturday – is due to culminate on the Brighton seafront.

Assistant Chief Constable of Surrey Police Nev Kemp said: "We have been very clear with those attending the Hells Angels event, many from overseas, that we will not tolerate criminal and anti-social behaviour.

"Our activity over the last few days has been about keeping people safe, which is why I put the Section 60 order in place.

"The fact that we have had seven people go through the courts and be sentenced so far, as well as the numerous arrests, has justified our actions.

"This weekend, especially Saturday, sees one of the busiest for both forces in the last 12 months and we continue to work hard to keep our residents and those visiting safe.

"Officers will be out in high numbers so expect to see us on patrol responding and responding quickly to any incidents."

Though the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is no longer as notorious as it was in its origins days when – after being established in 1948 in San Bernardino – it became known the world over for its involvement in drugs, violence and the trafficking of stolen goods, it is still regarded as an ‘international crime syndicate’ by the U.S. government.

Earlier this week a court in the Netherlands went as far as to ban the club outright, citing its track record for crime.