The mayor of Bathurst is calling on the New Brunswick government to follow the lead of Prince Edward Island and introduce legislation banning motorcycle clubs that are associated with criminal activity.
Paolo Fongemie says some area residents are concerned about the presence of the Darksiders North Shore, a biker group affiliated with the Darksiders of Dartmouth, N.S.
Although the group has been in the region for a couple of years with a clubhouse located downtown, members only recently added “MC” to their jackets, said Fongemie.
“We know with all the documentation that was published through the media with the gang war in Quebec … that the MC means Motorcycle Club, and the only club that allows another club to wear those letters on their jacket are the Hells Angels.
“So they’ve kind of stepped up their game.”
Members of the group declined an interview request and would not confirm relations with the Hells Angels.
The RCMP did not want to comment on the activities of biker groups in the Chaleur region, directing inquiries to the municipal police.
The Bathurst Police Force also declined an interview. A spokesperson did confirm links between the Darksiders and the Hells Angels but did not specify whether the Bathurst group is involved in any criminal activities.
“Bathurst city police are fully aware of the presence of the Darksiders North Shore Motorcycle Club in Bathurst, as well as other support clubs in the province,” newly appointed Chief Ernie Boudreau said in a followup emailed statement to CBC News.
“We are in agreement with the Bathurst city mayor and civic authority concerning their preoccupations,” wrote Boudreau.
“Outlaw motorcycle gangs are a serious issue in any community and to combat this threat requires collaboration as well as partnerships with all levels of policing, being municipal, provincial and national forces, in order to have a co-ordinated approach in combating this serious problem.”
Police look forward to educating citizens “on the differences between outlaw motorcycle gangs and support clubs versus recreational motorcycle clubs.”
ANNUAL BIKER BASH CANCELLED
Bathurst Mayor Paolo Fongemie said the city council is ‘somewhat limited’ in what it can do to limit the activities of the group. (Radio-Canada)
Fongemie said some citizens have approached him in recent weeks, saying they’ve heard about the bike gang and asking, “Are we in danger?”
“People are starting to be afraid, and that’s not right,” he said.
“We don’t need this in our community.”
The city is struggling with an aging population and trying to attract young families, he said.
“We want to be promoted as a safe community, so we don’t need this,” he said
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