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Friday, 10 October 2008

VIP escort for Bandidos bikie gang

More than 200 members of the Bandidos bikie gang will descend on Melbourne this afternoon.Police have been told to "facilitate" the bikies as they ride in convoy from Geelong to the CBD.
The Bandidos will be given a police escort and traffic will be stopped so they can enjoy an uninterrupted run. Once in town, they are expected to hit pubs and strip clubs during their annual national run. "It really is a party," said one Bandidos member. Bikies from interstate and overseas are expected to join the run up the Princes Highway. The order from police command has outraged police already livid over what they say is a soft approach to bikie gangs. Officers will be drawn from regions already struggling to contain crime to monitor the gang from tonight until Monday. Police will devote 395 individual shifts to the operation, including traffic management units, general duties officers and brawler vans. "This operation will be sucking up a lot of manpower at peak trouble times," one officer said.
Senior Sergeant Greg Davies of the Police Association said city police were already struggling to cope with drunken violence. "Clearly, we do not have the current frontline capacity to prevent Melburnians being injured on an average weekend in the CBD," Sen-Sgt Davies said. "We just hope our members will be deployed in sufficient numbers to protect themselves and the community at large. "We've got to be confident the force has used all of its intelligence gathering and has planned for this. If there have been any slip-ups along the way then this has the potential to make Attila the Hun's foray into Europe look like an end-of-season footy trip." A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said force command had contingencies in place for the run. "Victoria Police has a number of strategies in place to minimise traffic disruption and will continue to seek to provide a safe and orderly environment for the Victorian community," she said


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