Outlaws targeted in police raids

Eighteen arrested in organised crime sting

EIGHTEEN people have been arrested and a warehouse used by the Outlaws Motorcycle Club raided in a police operation targeting organised crime.

Warrants were executed yesterday for drugs and sex offences across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.  

Around 120 officers were involved in raids in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster, Bodenham and Fownhope.

Supt Ivan Powell said the Outlaws were believed to be connected to a serious assault at a pub in Herefordshire.

He said: "We've arrested a number of people we believe to be involved in a serious assault which took part at the Broad Leys pub

"We class them [the Outlaws] as an organisation that is an organised crime group."

West Mercia Police tweeted a picture of firearms which were seized in the raids along with a suspected stolen motorcycle, drugs and two dangerous dogs.

Powell, policing commander for Herefordshire, said: “We hope this day of action sends a clear message to anyone involved in an organised crime group that their activities are not welcome here.

“However, targeting those suspected of being in an OCG is only a part of what today is about. The majority of warrants we have carried out have been under the Proceeds Of Crime Act, Misuse of Drugs Act and Sexual Offences Act.

“Operation Wingspan aims to send a clear message to those involved in criminal activity and the community at large, that if we receive information about criminality we will act upon it.”

In 2008, two Outlaws members were convicted of shooting dead Hells Angel Gerry Tobin, 35, as he rode on a motorway after leaving the Bulldog Bash at Long Marston, Warwickshire.

The Outlaws’ website denies the club is a criminal organisation. It says: "We may not live by the rules of society, but we do live by it’s (sic) laws.."