Minor charges in charity ride ‘harassment’

Police Harassment in charity ride Hells Angels assault charge

More than 50 NSW, Queensland and Federal police who stopped a charity ride issued warnings, two minor drug charges and some defect notices.

Ride organiser and Hells Angels MC Brisbane Chapter member Jeff Ehlers says “a lot of taxpayers’ money was spent and wasted for some very very minor offences”.

“It was total abuse of police powers and responsibilities,” he says. 

The club’s 26th annual Good as Gold charity ride was roadblocked by the joint police task force on Saturday (March 3, 2018) as they crossed the border into NSW near Woodenbong.

Jeff claims police harassment includes:

  • Assaulting an Army veteran;
  • crossing double white lines to disperse their ride;
  • prolonged bike checks and incorrectly defected vehicles;
  • “illegal searches” without warrants; and
  • Drug and alcohol tests conducted in dangerously hot conditions without providing riders with water or a toilet break.

Click here for more details.

Police response

We contacted NSW Police Task Force Raptor and Queensland Police Task Force Maxima on Sunday and were told a comment would not be possible until during the week.

So far, only Queensland Police have responded.

They say notices to appear were issued to one person for drug driving and a 47-year-old woman for possession of a prohibited item and a drug utensil. She appears in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on March 28.

They also issued five Consorting Warning Notices for allegedly consorting with recognised offenders.Police Harassment charity ride charges

“During the operation in Queensland police issued a number of traffic infringement notices, conducted 85 intelligence street checks and 350 random breath and drug tests,” Queensland Police say.

“The main object of the consorting legislation is the disruption and prevention of serious criminal activity, by deterring recognised offenders from establishing, maintaining and expanding criminal networks.

“The (Good as Gold) ride has, in the past, been linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs with members riding in previous years displaying club colours.”

Hells Angels response to charges

Jeff says they had warned and ensured riders did not to display colours when riding in Queensland or entering premises in NSW.

“They did 85 motorcycle inspections. None of them were defective in Queensland until we crossed the boarder where 16 were, and some were brand new straight of the showroom floor,” he says.

Police Harassment in charity ride Hells Angels charges
Federal Police xray a motorcycle

“They say they did 350 drug and alcohol tests; what, did they test everyone four times? Yet they also state they where ‘random’.

“How is it random yet it a plan combined police operation?”

He says two of the consorting notices were issued to people not to consort personally with him.

“I am not a recognised offender,” he says. “I do not have a criminal record.”

He says the police response did not address the issues of his arrest for refusing to obey a police direction by going to the toilet and the assault on a veteran.

We are still awaiting the NSW Police response. Meanwhile, here is the NSW position on 1%er rides:

Former detective responds

Former detective and now Bond Uni criminology lecturer Terry Goldsworthy says this is “just a further example of police targeting members and suspected members of OMCGs”. “In reality these types of operations follow along the lines of consorting laws and anti-association laws that we have seen implemented in the majority of Australian jurisdictions,” he says. “Whilst good for public assurances that police are being active they do very little to target organised crime as a number of government reports have shown. “Police resources would be better utilised in targeting those actually committing criminal enterprises. “So rather then targeting people because of who they are, you target people because of what they are doing.” Preparations are under way for a legal challenge. Anyone who witnessed what they believe is unacceptable behaviour from police in relation to the Good As Gold Charity Ride is asked to send an email with contact details to Chris Main of Alibi Legal or Magic at Biker Events Calendar. “This means any driving behaviour which you felt put your safety at risk, instances of deliberate obstruction, cases of offensive language, etc,” Magic says.  

32 Comments

  1. The issue with the VLAD laws is that they have made the ‘outlaw clubs’ unidentifiable from other HD/ Cruiser Clubs when riding in a group. So the average ‘plod’ just targets all of us. In NSW at least there where already ‘anti or consorting laws ‘ in place, non-compliance with these could result in a breach of parole or the issuing of a court attendance notice. The ‘new’ laws where really just ‘Public Relations’ exercises.

  2. You are correct and the earth is still revolving, but VLAD has been a failure in terms of crime, both in solving and prevention. Even if all 1% gangs were dissolved and their members all suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth, there would be no perceptible decrease in the crimes that are attributed to them. So what does VLAD really achieve? Bugger all except create platforms for people to say how good the laws are at getting rid of “bikie scum”. They do nothing to reduce crime, and if you were an investor looking at the cost/benefit, the crackdown on Good as Gold was a screaming failure. Total waste of money.

    You are also correct about the Hells Angels not being charitable, but the last time I looked, charities are happy to take money from wherever it comes; have you seen the media reports about the huge margins a lot of the corporate fundraiser take from their donations? Some are almost 90%, and I’ll bet the Hells Angels don’t take a cent out of what they might raise. Funnily enough, Good as Gold started at the God Squads clubhouse in Brisbane, and those guy exist to help those on the fringe. Maybe that is criminal too, in fact, taken to the extreme, Harley Davidson support 1%ers by selling them motorcycles. Proceeds of crime? Harley Davidson might be construed as a criminal organisation as well, if you take VLAD to it’s ultimate conclusion.

    It’s also not new for organisations to cynically use fundraising as a way to “legitimise” itself. You don’t have to look far to see that across the spectrum, from corporates to 1%ers, but its simply good business. I’m sure that the charities don’t mind, as long as funds are raised legally, and I’m sure the aforementioned charity ride was legal.

    I personally don’t mind if they raise money for good causes, as it in no way makes up for all the bad shit they might do, but at least it is a positive, and it is helping somebody. They’ve been doing it for a long time, and when you look at the attendees, there were how many Hells Angels there? Not because they don’t want to be, but because of VLAD. Good? Doesn’t really make any difference, except that they affected a whole lot of people who aren’t 1%ers. Nah, I’m way past raising my eyebrows to that sort of stuff.

  3. Re Andrew – (out of reply links) you stated “ Leave Mark alone to do his job as a journalist, and if you don’t like reading about this stuff, then don’t visit motorbikewriter.com. Simple.”

    Why should I? do you think him incapable of standing up for himself? If Mark was that much of a snowflake he would not have public commentary enabled now would he?

    I have not addressed the points in the beginning of you post as they have explained elsewhere but most importantly you commends are still avoiding the point I was making.I.e. What a good guy should do in a gang

    1. Hey Robert,

      I was simply stating my support in Mark writing on what he feels appropriate. I don’t try to tell him what to write, and while you tell him what he shouldn’t write about, I’m simply saying that if you don’t like it, read another story! Theres plenty of crappy stories in news sites that I simply don’t bother reading after seeing the headline, so take the hint.

      Bottom line here is the headline:-

      Minor charges in charity ride ‘harassment’

      Waste of time, money and resources for no good other than making motorcycle enthusiasts like you feel safer!

      1. I have a slightly different take on this (no surprises there then).
        First – The hells angels are in no, way, shape of form charitable!I So when you see them linked to the word charity, one should at least raise an eyebrow.
        Second – I believe Mark is not being sceptical enough, but thats OK, he won’t be the last person tricked into feeling that there is some high purpose into thinking this is some sort of civil rights issue. The whole article/situation is a set up and being milked for all its worth. And its not hard to confirm such, because since the VLAD laws have come into effect, the sky hasn’t fallen, thousands of real motorcyclists go about their daily life every day, cops not running amok. Australia is getting along just the same.

        1. You are correct and the earth is still revolving, but VLAD has been a failure in terms of crime, both in solving and prevention. Even if all 1% gangs were dissolved and their members all suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth, there would be no perceptible decrease in the crimes that are attributed to them. So what does VLAD really achieve? Bugger all except create platforms for people to say how good the laws are at getting rid of “bikie scum”. They do nothing to reduce crime, and if you were an investor looking at the cost/benefit, the crackdown on Good as Gold was a screaming failure. Total waste of money.

          You are also correct about the Hells Angels not being charitable, but the last time I looked, charities are happy to take money from wherever it comes; have you seen the media reports about the huge margins a lot of the corporate fundraiser take from their donations? Some are almost 90%, and I’ll bet the Hells Angels don’t take a cent out of what they might raise. Funnily enough, Good as Gold started at the God Squads clubhouse in Brisbane, and those guy exist to help those on the fringe. Maybe that is criminal too, in fact, taken to the extreme, Harley Davidson support 1%ers by selling them motorcycles. Proceeds of crime? Harley Davidson might be construed as a criminal organisation as well, if you take VLAD to it’s ultimate conclusion.

          It’s also not new for organisations to cynically use fundraising as a way to “legitimise” itself. You don’t have to look far to see that across the spectrum, from corporates to 1%ers, but its simply good business. I’m sure that the charities don’t mind, as long as funds are raised legally, and I’m sure the aforementioned charity ride was legal.

          I personally don’t mind if they raise money for good causes, as it in no way makes up for all the bad shit they might do, but at least it is a positive, and it is helping somebody. They’ve been doing it for a long time, and when you look at the attendees, there were how many Hells Angels there? Not because they don’t want to be, but because of VLAD. Good? Doesn’t really make any difference, except that they affected a whole lot of people who aren’t 1%ers. Nah, I’m way past raising my eyebrows to that sort of stuff.

          1. A couple of things. First I don’t know where you got the figures for the effectiveness of the VLAD so I cant comment, either way its a bit irrelevant, because we don’t know what the police agenda is, disruption and intelligence could be one of them (which is hard to quantify), and in their eyes its working perfectly well.

            I doubt that you will find many charities that will knowingly take money from criminal organisations! But i’ll be happy to be proven wrong on this, if you just give me the contact for said Charity ill ask them myself and ask what their policy on this is.

            Many organisation use charities to give the air of legitimacy and your right, it is good business, FOR THEM. Glad you realise this! So does this mean we should support them? The reason you should say no is because the money comes from the suffering and misery of others, via illegal drugs, prostitution, protection rackets, theft etc by another name its Blood Money in which every dollar causes more harm that good. Charities should slam the door in their face and have nothing to do with them.

  4. Hi I know some of these so called hells angels and ilk , some of the best people I know and would certainly trust them over a politician or police any day of the week and yes I would even trust them to look after my family as they are family men themselves, so called criminals exists everywhere yet there is in mho an undue amount of attention on these people just in case they are about to do something wrong. For me politicians and police are far more guilty of wrong doing as they can hide behind laws that protect them. I won’t say all are like this, I’ve come across good police but giving encouragement to police to harass people on motorcycles whether they’re bikies or not is not right, and to my knowledge I don’t think there’s a record of any charity ride being used as a front for something more sinister, of course I could be wrong.

    1. The trouble is not that there may or may not be “best people” in the hells angels, this is a wrong headed argument, i.e. to imply that because you know a good guy it reflects on all in the gang. For the Evil to flourish it takes good people to do nothing. For every good guy that stays in a criminal organisation it harms him and indirectly us. Being the Good Guy is only half the equation, you have to have the courage of your convictions, and resign and have no part in such organisations. Go join a bonafide motorcyclist enthusiast group, there are plenty of them.

      1. So you’re saying that any good 1%er should get out of their club. Just like all good cops, polititians, public servents etc should get out of the systems that they are a part of because of the bad ones. That’s the best argument yet that proves you are missing the point, but no point arguing with a fool.

        1. If you think that is what I actually said, pleases reread the post I was responding too, I.e. a good person within an proven criminal gang, that is the point you seemed to have missed.
          As to why a criminal gang would tolerate a ‘good guy’ in their midst, is because it serves their purpose. It’s the same thing as a celebrity endorsement, where you hire or trick, a trusted person ( hint hint veteran) and use them as a distraction.
          And yes you should leave, run don’t walk, because if your truly a good guy then criminal gang does not reflect you values. Simple!

          1. And the Queensland Government wanted to include Christian Gangs in the prescribed list. Many gangs on the list have no members with any criminal convictions at all. Probably less convictions that the various state police forces per capita, but of course, thats OK because the likes of Campbell Newman knows these gangs are criminal because he says so.

            Sorry but these laws are bullshit and do nothing to make the community safer, regardless of how much you hate the 1%ers and the cops book them for technical breaches in relation to their bikes. I’m glad that you think that we are all safer now that they issued 2 drugs charges and 5 consorting charges, but I certainly don’t. Do you also know that you could be charged with consorting by emailing a member of a declared criminal gang, even though that member may have no criminal record. This all just flies in the face of reason, and you know, I wouldn’t mind what they did to criminal gangs if it made a big difference to the supply of drugs, but it hasn’t and doesn’t. Biggest drug hauls often involve Asian or Middle East crime gangs. It would be a very brave government to change the criteria from 1%ers to certain racial groups, in fact, probably illegal, but targetting groups who are actually doing most of the bad stuff is what might make a difference.

            To bad they didn’t see the Ulysses “patch” riders in the same way, as they could have been a great bit of publicity, but they didn’t.

            Leave Mark alone to do his job as a journalist, and if you don’t like reading about this stuff, then don’t visit motorbikewriter.com. Simple.

  5. I don’t get it….. Outlaws were forever closing down other clubs now they whinge because it is being done to them??

  6. The Newcastle Bikers for Kids Toy run is now in it’s 40 Th yea. Australia’s oldest we attract 10,500 Motcycles from allover Australia. and we have had Police Escort for 25 Yrs . Can only speak as I find but in those 25 Yrs has nothing but Great Help and Resonce from Police and Roads and Marintime. Bikers for Kids Charity has organised Lots of Charity Rides and Never once have we recived or had Trouble from Police .We also have a lot of X and serving Police on our rides as well as other Emercency Services Personel . Big John Young C.M. @ O.A.M. B.f.K. Charity

  7. “the hells angels and their ilk”

    So where do you draw the line? Just patch groups? There are plenty of them around now that aren’t known to police, and most of them are wannabe’s who have come on the scene since Sons of Anarchy hit the small screens. I don’t see how police hassling groups like this helps the real motorcycle enthusiast.

    There are criminal elements through all groups of society, all demographics, all religions, et al, and simply picking on one group doesn’t make us all safer. And how does any Hells Angel standing on the side of the road make it better for real motorcycle enthusiasts? Why not just shoot them all and be done with it?

    Seriously, you don’t need to look far back in history to see that the targeting of a minority group such as this leads us on a very slippery slope.

    I actually know a guy who ticks all your boxes of being a real motorcycle enthusiast, and yet he is a member of a real patched group. You could not meet a nicer bloke, but be careful in what you wish for. If you are ever broken down by the side of the road, you’d probably shit yourself if he pulled up to help you, as he would. And he’s do it if you were any any motorcycle, even a scooter.

    Your attitude does little to help the real motorcycle enthusiast as well, and these VLAD laws actually eat away a little at the very system that even allows you to have a say, and for me to have a different opinion to you.

    1. Yes I know several guys, I’m sure we all have, and the anger we feel should be directed at thoes responsible for it, I.e. the gangs. My attitude as you put it, is directed at thoes responsible, the gangs, the pretence at being a charitable, and most of all falling for this PR exercise into thinking they deserve one iota of sympathy from motorcycle enthusiast.

  8. And open letter to Mark Hinchliffe on Misplaced Loyalties:

    What have the hells angels (and their ilk) ever done for us? Not a bloody thing! Its because of them that VLAD laws are even a thing. Every time you have been ‘hassled by the man’ its because of the outlaw image perpetuated by these assholes. Just because they use the same form of transport as we do does not make them our brothers nor earn our respect. If they preferred to take the bus or drive a van, do think they would get any sympathy from us, not on your bloody life. I implore you to not post articles like this because their ‘charity rides’ are just a PR exercise to gain sympathy.

    True motorcycle enthusiasts have been around since the invention of the motorcycle and was the working mans only affordable transport for a brief while. You can tell them apart because their friendly, will give you a wave, stop to see if you have broken down, these are the people that deserve our respect, these are the real riders and not the pretensious bullies in colours who think they are cool.

      1. No one is forcing you so no, what I suspect you actually mean is self censorship, yes? I’m sure as editor you perform that function every day when you decide what is newsworthy and what is not. I suppose it depends as what you see as your agenda as to what is newsworthy. The difficulty arises when a news article that crosses your laptop has an inbuilt agenda of its own! Then what do you do, ‘publish and be damed’ or not fall for the propaganda?

        1. From what I understand the act of going on a charity ride was not illegal. With the software including number plate recognition the police should have ,booked who they were going to book Arrested who they were going to arrest and let the rest go Not held them for hours You may not like outlaw motorcycle groups thats fine ,As you may dislike other groups Thats fine. But the beauty of a democracy is that we are all supposed to be treated equally under the law and clearly this is not happening We saw this when the vlad laws first appeared many obviously non omg members were being harassed The worrying thing is that the police appear to be bending the law at the behest of politicians..What next? The lock the gate / anti adani mine protesters Anyone the government wants to intimidate into silence?

          1. No it’s not illegal to go on a charity ride, but do you honestly think the hells angels are a charitable organisation? Wake up, they are using you to gain sympathy and undermine actions against them. Do you honestly think that this was filmed by mr honest John citizen?
            No one likes the way the law is going, but let’s put the blame on the shoulder of thoes who are responsible for it. The less support, airtime, or misplaced sympathy we give them the better.

  9. The real criminals are the ones wearing the uniform. Absolute abuse of power. The only thing these corrupt cops are doing with their outdated draconian laws is discouraging holiday makers from visiting what was once a nice country.

    As for the notorious officer called raptor 13 (budgie smuggler 12), the so called man is nothing more than a jumped up thug on a power trip.

    A shame that these real criminals are ruining a great nation.

  10. The so called outlaw motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angels attract the kind of people that make living next to a toxic waste dump preferable to living next to their clubhouse so one would think this type of harassment and laws like the VLAD act seem like a really good idea but you’d be horribly mistaken if you did.
    The problem with such laws and such behaviour is that they don’t just affect the less than one percent of the population that act in criminal and really obnoxious ways they affect one hundred percent of the population.
    Just imagine you are riding down the highway and you get rammed off the road by a cop and wake up handcuffed to a hospital bed with a crap load of false charges levelled against you.
    It may be because he mistook you for a one percenter or it may be because he just felt like kicking the crap out of someone and you were it! You think that won’t happen but when you condone such laws and such behaviour you get criminals with a badge taking advantage of it.

    1. Do you really think the Australian Police would deliberately crash into a Motorcyclist who is just riding down the road?
      If you do, you better up your medication!

      1. You may recall a police officer being held accountable for causing an accident by throwing an object at a rider passing by. Do not think the police are all just doing there job. It is a thankless job and I’m glad some one does it but they are human with human prejudices and foibles. When directed by their bosses to harass a particular group just for being, then it lessens all of us and is heading towards the idea that if your other your fair game. You all better hope that you don’t suddenly be in a group the government doesn’t like. It already happened with the vlad laws. Your government does not care about you only how much you can be squeezed for obedience and taxes. There are so many examples of this. People are sheep as long as it doesn’t affect their little bit of life they dont careabout anything else. By the time you realise what freedom has been lost it will be too late for you. How about journalists not being able to report about government incompetence. That’s now a law. Too late it already happened. How much do you care. Enough to complain about bikers and not see the big picture. People are generally blind.

  11. I’d be the first to put my hand up and say that I don’t really care for these bikie types. I have always found them arrogant and dismissive of other riders, and many are without doubt involved in criminal activity: we have had quite a few shootings here in Sydney recently for a start. But having said all that, 50 officers targeting them for stop and search while out on a charity ride does seem to be a bit of a waste of police resources.

  12. Doesn’t make sense, the police and government let jihadi fighters return to this country, give convicted asylum seekers refuge in this country and slap them on the wrist when they break the law here, Victoria is gold for this, and yet harass and bully anyone who rides a Harley, what are they? Jealous or something?

  13. Good! Keep harassing the criminals posing as motorcyclists, every second the hells angels and their ilk are standing on the side of road and not on it, the better it is for real motorcycle enthusiasts.

    1. WHAT ABOUT the CRIMINALS POSING AS POLICE – THESE ARE OK in YOUR EYES ARE THEY ?
      You ARE NOT a Motorcycle Enthusiast, you Might Think that YOU ARE (IF you actually can RIDE or OWN a Motorcycle).
      A Motorcycle Enthusiast is an ART LOVER – Because Motorcycles are ART on WHEELS – MECHANICAL ART ….

      Something you can’t grasp an apreciation of – would you even help a ‘Motorcyclist’ broken down if he were wearing a patch or would you ride past with your Holier-than-thou attitude …

      Do US a favour Robert – Don’t go away Angry – JUST GO AWAY and take that Attitude with you PLEASE !!!

      1. Criminals are criminals frostbite, no one gets a free pass.

        Been riding since the 70’s and never stopped, and I always stop for a stranded motorcyclist, always have always will.

        re angry, eh remind me again who is using capital letters here?

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