Over half of outlaw motorcycle gang members in the Netherlands have been convicted of a violent crime and a third have a criminal record with more than 10 convictions behind his name, according to a study Leiden University published on Thursday, ANP reports.
Especially members of the larger biker gangs Satudarah, No Surrender, Hells Angels, Bandidos and Trailer Trash, have long lists of crimes on their record, according to the researchers. In addition to violent crimes, biker gang members are also often convicted for capital offenses, drug trafficking and illegal arms possession.
For this study, the researchers looked at the criminal records of over 1,600 motorcycle gang members and 500 members of so-called sports clubs that are registered in the police systems. How complete the image created by this data is, is hard to say. "But you will only have to to apply a small correction, if at all", researcher and criminology professor Arjan Blokland said. "Everyone who has ever been reported by a neighborhood police officer or pulled over in a traffic check, is listed."
. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Alex Schmitt
Blokland believes that a ban on motorcycle gangs, like the ones the Public Prosecutor is currently working on for Satudarah and the Bandidos, may be useful. "I do not dare to predict whether members will actually behave less criminally. But the fact is that the jackets and image of their clubs are currently explicitly focused on committing crimes", he said, according to the broadcaster.