A dozen Hells Angels have been arrested on suspicion of drugs and weapons offences ahead of a mass “ride-out” this weekend.
Police have authorised special ‘stop and search’ powers with up to 3,000 bikers expected to take part in three days of events across Surrey including a London to Brighton run on Saturday.
Surrey and Sussex Police have joined forces and cancelled all leave to deal with Hells Angels from all over the world expected to join the run.
Two people were arrested over possession of an offensive weapon at a motorway services station on the M25 on Tuesday evening, before 10 more were held yesterday (THURS).
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “Ten people have been arrested for possession of offensive weapons and possession of drugs offences across Surrey and Sussex.
“It follows information that some attendees to the Hells Angels Euro Run – a private event being held this weekend in the East Surrey/West Sussex area, may be carrying offensive weapons.
“The arrests have been made at a number of locations across both counties as roads policing officers, supported by other policing teams, use stop and search powers to look for concealed items.”
Police were authorised to use Section 60 stop and search powers on Wednesday night.
The orders are expected to last throughout the week and are being regularly reviewed.
Assistant Chief Constable Nev Kemp, who is leading policing operations across both counties, said: “We have been very clear with those attending this private event, many from overseas, about the UK law; and that any criminal or anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated.
“Public safety remains our top priority which is why we have put a Section 60 in place. This allows us to carry out a stop and search of any individual for a period of time.
“This isn’t something we have done lightly but is being put in place to ensure that the public, and others attending the event, are not put at risk.
“As we have previously stated, this is an exceptionally busy week across Surrey and Sussex with a number of large scale events taking place.
“Police have well prepared plans in place with officers from both Forces, plus mutual aid support on hand.
“Officers will be out in high numbers so both residents and visitors should expect to see us on patrol responding and responding quickly to any incidents.”
The event is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the infamous California-based motorcycle club setting up its first British branch.
The “ride out” from the A23 Pease Pottage to Brighton seafront tomorrow (SAT) is die to be the culmination of the celebration.
Police outriders will accompany the convoy and temporarily hold traffic at key points in an attempt to minimise disruption to other road users.
It is the first time the Hells Angels ‘Euro Run’ has been held in Britain.
Police have advised motorists planning on driving between Gatwick and Brighton tomorrow (SAT) to take alternative routes.
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, was founded in San Bernardino, California, in 1948.
But it soon gained notoriety as an outlaw gang linked to drugs.
After establishing a contingent in London in July 1969 , it spread to other British cities including Sheffield and Manchester.
Mr Kemp added: “We expect the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club celebrations to have an impact on the local road network in parts of East Surrey and West Sussex as large groups of motorcyclists travel to and from the venue.
“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during this period.
“Residents and visitors should be in no doubt that any anti-social behaviour or criminal activity will not be tolerated and any reports will be dealt with swiftly.”