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The rebirth of the Outlaws motorcycle gang in London is raising the spectre of clashes with their traditional rivals, the Hells Angels.

Monday, 13 June 2011



But the head of the province’s biker unit says there seems to be enough crime in Southwestern Ontario to go around.

“There appears to be enough business to allow them to co-exist,” said Det.-Sgt. Len Isnor of the Ontario Biker Enforcement Unit.

“Having said that, if the market gets to a saturation point, that could lead to problems.”

A person with a past on the other side of the law suggested the area crime business has room for both, but the rivals will wrestle for control.

“I think you will find there is going to be some violence, but it won’t be direct,” he said.

The clubs will use street gangs and prospects to intimidate each other, rather than go head-to-head, he said.

The Hells Angels also are quietly trying to beef up their numbers, said the source, who has knowledge of the local biker scene.

Both the source and Isnor agreed the Outlaws are back and are going to make it known.

Police believe the gang has an east-end clubhouse, painted in traditional black and white Outlaws colours, Isnor said.

The Free Press source said the Outlaws will wear their colours whenever possible to prove they’re a full chapter: “They’ll have a visible presence this summer.”

That’s a contrast to the Hells Angels, who have kept a low profile in London for the last few years while consolidating control on the drug market and other criminal activities, the source said.

“They have more money and support than the Outlaws. They are more corporate. The Outlaws still think they are playing cowboys and Indians.”

A London chapter of the Outlaws began in 1977 but by 2002 was faltering. The Hells Angels had moved into Ontario and convinced dozens of area Outlaws to join them.

A provincewide raid called Project Retire in 2002 put dozens of Ontario Outlaws, including some local leaders, behind bars.

Some remaining Outlaws and their supporters tried to start a Bandidos chapter, but that experiment ended in disaster with the massacre of eight Bandidos in 2006 and prison terms for six others guilty of the killings.

Two years ago, the city had the Outlaws clubhouse on Egerton St. demolished.

But the main targets in Project Retire have either served their time or had their charges dropped.

In London, “the Outlaws never really left,” Isnor said. Their membership fell below the three necessary for a chapter, he said. “They were there. They went into dormancy.”

The Outlaws’ roots in the city could help keep peace with the Hells Angels.

“The Hells Angels are the new kids on the block,” Isnor said.

The revived Outlaws are a mix of older bikers with a history of gang membership and newcomers, Isnor said. They are not patching over existing Hells Angels, he said.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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