Monday, September 21, 2015 - 13:22
Public turning backs on motorcycle clubs, gangs
The explosive growth of criminal motorcycle clubs has come to an end, according to the National Police. The tougher approach to the clubs is paying off. "Mayors have closed clubhouses, there have been many investigations into individual members of motorcycle gangs, the Tax Authorities has worked to address them, the police are acing on the public roads. We are therefore seeing less intimidating behavior from motorcycle gangs", Pim Miltenburg, the police chief in charge of dealing with motorcycle clubs, said to broadcaster NOS. According to Miltenburg, there has been a slight growth in motorcycle clubs this year, with nine additional chapters opening. A special unit of the police is currently keeping an eye on 17 clubs which they consider criminal, with a total of 123 different chapters. The police are keeping an eye on some 1,800 members. Motorcycle club Satudarah agrees that the massive growth has slowed down, but not only as a result of police action. "The club itself sees that there is little growth anymore. At some point it stops. Satudarah wants to get affairs back in order as the growth was very hard", the club's lawyer Erik Thomas said to the broadcaster. "Men are finding that a motorcycle club is not for them and then leave." The large growth in motorcycle clubs started in 2013 after the disintegration of the Raad van Acht, Council of Eight in English - an agreement between the clubs. Satudarah grew from 9 chapters in 2011 to a current 33 chapters. No Surrender, a relatively new club in the Netherlands, opened 24 chapters in the Netherlands.