Upwards of 300 Hells Angels are expected to arrive in Nanaimo this upcoming weekend for a sanctioned ride and party to celebrate the chapter’s 35th anniversary.
“It’s a sanctioned ride to commemorate the 35th anniversary of not only of Nanaimo but other chapters that also started in 1983 including Vancouver, White Rock and the East End chapter,” said Nanaimo RCMP Constable Gary O’Brien.
Members of the notorious motorbike gang will start arriving Friday and members from all over Canada are expected to ride and fly their colours.
“Because it’s a sanctioned ride, they actually have to participate. We’re expecting Hells angels members, associates, supports, family members from all over B.C., and western Canada, and if not further,” said O’Brien.
In a release, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC said they will be extending extra support to Nanaimo and the Island.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (#CFSEUBC) will be on Vancouver Island this weekend to support our Island policing partners with the #HellsAngels 35th Anniversary Party and ride in Nanaimo. #EndGangLife pic.twitter.com/shta1J7kMA
— CFSEU-BC (@cfseubc) July 17, 2018
“It is no secret and is well documented that many of the participants of these such events are individuals and members of clubs associated to and who participate in criminal activity,” said Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC spokesperson.
But, O’Brien says the Island shouldn’t worry.
“We have an operations plan in place,” said O’Brien.
Nanaimo has a busy set of community events over the weekend as well. But, O’Brien says there’s no need to worry and they’re well prepared.
“It will be a great weekend, there’s no reason at all to not come to Nanaimo,” said O’Brien.
“Public safety is always number one, we’re not expecting any issues, and don’t be surprised to see increased police presence over the weekend for all the events,” he added.