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Charity bikers 'feel like criminals' after police probe event

LAST ONE: Riders congregate at Riverside Parklands for the last Bumz on Bikes ride, where some members said they felt like criminals after police checked on their event.
LAST ONE: Riders congregate at Riverside Parklands for the last Bumz on Bikes ride, where some members said they felt like criminals after police checked on their event. Max Fleet

PARTICIPANTS of a charity motorcycle ride feel they have been classed as criminal motorcycle gang members following the degree of police presence at the event.

Former president of the Bundaberg and District Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club, John Burrage, was one of hundreds of riders who took part in the last Bumz on Bikes cancer fundraiser ride on October 27.

"The police turned up - two guys were walking around in uniform and there were two plain-clothed guys," he said.

"Later on, we observed them approaching the Cancer Council ladies and demanded all the entry forms and took them away to the police station to photocopy.

"To me, that's a bit off."

Mr Burrage said the treatment made him, and others, feel like criminals.

"It's putting us in the same category with all the outlaw gangs," he said.

"That doesn't seem fair to me.

"Now they have everyone who was there on record - don't' we have rights anymore?".

The 71-year-old rider said he agreed there should be a crackdown on criminal motorcycle gangs.

"But I think the Attorney General has gone overboard in his laws," he said.

But Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Sergeant David Tucker stressed that officers were not out to "tarnish" the event.

"We wouldn't even think for one minute that the event was tarnished by any members of a criminal motorcycle gang, or that it was related to a criminal organisation," he said.

We had an obligation to ensure that there were no members of criminal motorcycle gangs attending there and committing an offence under the new legislation.

"We had an obligation to ensure that there were no members of criminal motorcycle gangs attending there and committing an offence under the new legislation."

Det Sgt Tucker said the new legislation, brought in last month, now meant it was an offence if three more members of a criminal bikie gang were together at any one time.

"The reason that police attended was to ensure that among the persons attending, there wasn't three or more criminal motorcycle gang members," he said.

"We had to make inquiries there to confirm that.

"There was one member of a criminal motorcycle gang who we did identify - he belonged to the Rebels."

Det Sgt Tucker said the Bumz on Bikes ride was an event worth police support.

"We know there were off-duty police who were there supporting the event," he said.

"We organised to have our police motorcyclist escort the motorcycles out of the event.

"We did that as a positive publicity initiative."

Topics:  bikie laws, campbell newman, cancer council queensland, state government



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