Experts in different fields –over 70 police officers, prosecutors and ministries of 15 EU member states– met at the end of 2017 at Europol headquarters to reflect on the need to address crime related to motorbike gangs in the European Union. The meeting, organised by National Centre of Intelligence and Experiment(LIEC) of the Ministry of Justice and Security, dealt with innovative investigation focuses to fight against organised crime, especially related to OMCGs(outlaw motorcycle gangs).
Criminal motorcycle gangs have a significant international dimension, with an established transnational network, and are present in all EU member states with great potential for territorial expansion. The number of OMCGs in Europe continues to be high as the new illegal motorcycle gangs come into play and increase their presence in the streets. This not only has an impact on the organised crime situation as it also may have a profound effect on people’s lives.
Over recent years, many members of the EU have experienced crime related to OMCGs. In response to these problems, countries have developed a range of strategies. They often go beyond the traditional measures for the application of the law and provide an integral and administrative focus to address this type of crime and other questions related to these groups. This multidisciplinary focus combines criminal investigations with measures adopted by other institutions and governmental authorities, such as fiscal authorities, customs services and local municipal and regional authorities, in order to combat OMCGs more efficiently.
Europol sees a need for an exchange of international and cross border experiences and stricter cooperation to meet all the challenges such OMCGs present.
Karel Schuuman, head of the LIEC, states that it is vital to have an integral focus to address the phenomenon of OMCGs and the problems they cause. And he stresses that a combination of traditional methods of application of the law and measures from other governmental authorities, such as public administration and fiscal authorities, is necessary.
At present, Europol has a key role in the fight against the criminal activities of criminal motorcycle gangs and provides support for member states to prevent or combat all nature of crime within the mandate of Europol. The attempt to meet this objective is made via an operative analysis during investigations, identifying new trends and phenomena, and via strategic analysis, information about threats and the organisation of conferences involving experts and training courses throughout Europe.