Hells Angels Euro Run ends quietly amidst heavy police presence

The Hells Angels Euro Run ends with no further disturbances against the backdrop of a heavy police presence

Hells Angels Euro Run [credit: PA]

CELEBRATIONS to mark a half-century since the formation of the Hells Angels in the UK has ended with no further disturbances after police arrested 34 people on suspicion of weapons and drugs offences in the run up to the event.

In anticipation of a predicted 3,000 members and 700 bikers taking part, Sussex Police and Surrey Police had gone to the lengths of cancelling staff’s holiday to ensure it had the manpower to cope with the numbers and any potential disturbances.

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However, despite the initial arrests which led to 12 charges and a heavy police presence in Brighton – where a ride-out that began in Pease Pottage came to an end ahead of a gathering on the seafront - there were no more issues.

Indeed, the local Argus newspaper reports the actual number of participants was in fact well down on expectations, particularly against the backdrop of police on horseback and even a helicopter monitoring proceedings.

A motorbike enthusiast who came to Brighton for the event was both disappointed in the lack of ‘spectacle’ and the heavy-handedness of police, which he believes is rooted from an outdated perception of the Hells Angels’ violent origins.

“I’m not a Hells Angel,” he said. “I came for the spectacle but there isn’t one. I have seen more police officers than bikers, they were obviously predicting trouble.

“But I have got nothing bad to say about the Hells Angels at all. In any large group there is always going to be one bad apple who gives them a bad reputation, but they do a lot of good.

“I have been involved in a lot of the charity events they organise, but they can’t do anything right in the eyes of some people, it’s a real shame.”

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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.

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