Concerns gear up over ‘MC clubs’

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Norwegian police are growing increasingly worried about the sheer number of motorcycle clubs in the country, their ties to crime and their expansion. Hells Angels remains the largest, but the Outlaws is growing the fastest, and police fear they’ll clash.
Norwegian newspapers and broadcast outlets have suddenly been peppered with stories about what they alternatively call “MC clubs” or “MC gangs.” Newspaper Aftenposten reported this week that the police want to ban the characteristic logos on their leather clothing, newspaper Dagbladet reported that three out of four Hells Angels members in Norway have been convicted of crimes, and Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that police want politicians and community leaders to “wake up” to the threat they feel is posed by the motorcycle clubs.

Hells Angels reportedly has around 110 members in Norway, and a presence in Oslo, Trondheim, Hamar, Stavanger, Skien, Drammen and Tromsø. The Outlaws, Bandidos and Coffin Cheaters also have a growing presence, with the latter active mostly in Lillestrøm, Stjørdal and Gjøvik.

Aftenposten reported that three years ago, the four international groups had 17 local clubs in Norway. Today they have 28, and police say they’re steadily expanding into new areas. The expansion can lead to territorial conflicts, police fear, along with rising crime.

“There’s no doubt they have great influence on the criminal MC circles in Norway,” Atle Roll-Matthiesen of national police unit Kripos told Aftenposten.

Magnus Karlsson, a 59-year-old biker who’s been appointed spokesman for the Outlaws in Norway, has told reporters the police have nothing to fear. “We’re not challenging anyone,” he said. “We just want to ride motorcycles in peace.”

By Views and News staff