Police lead the HOG Rally Thunder Run
Police lead the HOG Rally Thunder Run

NSW Police well behaved at HOG Rally

This photo is the only time I saw any overt police presence the whole four days I was at the 24th annual National HOG Rally in Tamworth at the weekend.

Police lead the HOG Rally Thunder Run
Police lead the HOG Rally Thunder Run

It is a single patrol car leading the Thunder Run of more than 1500 bikes through the streets of Tamworth and surrounding countryside. SES and volunteers manned the rest of the route.

Volunteers helping out
Volunteers helping out

It is a far cry from the overt Victorian police presence and claimed harassment of riders going to and from the MotoGP and World Superbikes at Phillip Island; a practice that could endanger the future of these events in Victoria.

The Victorian police can certainly learn a good lesson from the police who patrolled the HOG Rally.

Vic Police roadblock the Finks
Vic Police roadblock the Finks

There were no roadblocks for licence checks and random breath tests, no proliferation of speed cameras, no heavily armed police wandering around the grounds of the event.

The only times I saw police cars were patrolling around the streets and there weren’t many, even though the town had a sudden influx of 2320 Harley riders.

HOG members enjoying Tamworth's tourist facilities
HOG members enjoying Tamworth’s tourist facilities

The result was there was no animosity, the HOGs were allowed to party responsibly, there were no burnouts in the main street, no ridiculous speeding and no violence or disturbances. I couldn’t be everywhere at the rally, but I didn’t witness nor hear of any reports of police harassment.

As a consequence, the rally-goers may not necessarily have a greater respect for police, but at least it hasn’t been further eroded.

The Tamworth Northern Daily Leader reports no disturbances and an economic benefit to the good citizens of more than $1 million; a very conservative estimate!

Tamworth residents appreciate HOG Rally riders
Tamworth residents appreciate HOG Rally riders

Police around Australia have a lot of ground to make up to regain the respect and confidence we had in them back in the 1980s when Crime Stoppers was a major tool for stopping crime!

Since those days, we’ve had the Fitzgerald and other police corruption inquiries, a rise in police shootings, VLAD laws, a reduction in general police patrols, a reliance on speed cameras for revenue and a rise in police harassment of riders.

There is a long way ahead for police to regain public confidence, particularly of riders.

Measured policing such as that displayed in Tamworth last weekend is a small first step.

HOG members enjoying Tamworth's tourist facilities

  1. I thought the reason hog came into being in the first place was so that
    harley could offer rub’s” rich urban bikers” an “outlaw experience” in the
    safety of closed events, so they didn’t run the risk of rubbing shoulders
    with the real thing or other “riff raff”
    I really don’t think the police would be too worried about them going
    on a rampage anymore than the ullysses.
    Much as some of the members would like to think otherwise

  2. From Melbourne I rode to and from the World Superbikes this year on the Friday and Sunday. I only saw two police cars around Bass, one each day, and both times they were booking car drivers.

    Of course it may have been different else where, but I was surprised at the lack speed cameras and patrol cars. Not that I’m complaining.

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