Outlaw motorcycle gangs

Report suspicious or illegal activity to your local police or call Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) to give an anonymous tip.

An outlaw motorcycle gang is any group of motorcycle riders and/or supporters who:

  • voluntarily made a commitment to band together
  • abide by their organization's rules
  • engage in criminal activities

These activities are considered organized crime.

The common term "1% Club" distinguishes outlaw motorcycle riders from the majority of motorcycle enthusiasts who are law-abiding citizens. It's worn as a symbol by outlaw bikers and often seen as a pin, patch or tattoo.

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The courts have determined that outlaw motorcycle gangs have the following characteristics:

  • a hierarchical structure
  • membership
  • involves criteria, processes and regulations
  • members may prove their permanent commitment via criminal acts
  • associates
  • colours
  • clubhouse
  • fortified and equipped with systems to protect against intrusion from rival groups or police raids
  • club rules
  • intelligence gathering
  • criminal activity

Presence in Canada

Outlaw motorcycle gangs exist in every province of Canada. They interconnect across provincial/municipal jurisdictions and have national/international connections and associations.

Law enforcement monitors expanding criminal operations and arrests anyone who is involved in illegal activities.

Impacts on Canadian society and economy

Outlaw motorcycle gangs commit crimes that damage the Canadian economy, such as:

  • fraud
  • counterfeiting
  • money laundering
  • extortion
  • corruption

They also threaten communities' safety through activities such as:

  • drug sales and trafficking
  • illegal firearms dealing
  • intimidation, violence and murder
  • conflicts with rival gangs (collateral damage)

Living near an outlaw motorcycle club can affect your safety and decrease your property value.

What you can do to reduce the impact

You can help to ensure your safety, and the safety of your community, by learning about outlaw motorcycle gangs. Choose not to support organized criminal activity (including activities that seem harmless).

  • Don't buy or wear gang support gear (clothes, bandanas, badges, etc.)
    • By purchasing it, you are giving money to gangs that are harming our communities
    • By wearing it, you are supporting the gang's violent messaging and putting yourself at risk of attack from rival gangs
  • Don't participate in charitable activities organized by these groups
    • They often target charities with donations and toy drives to sanitize their image and build community support
  • Minimize your contact with gang members
  • Report any suspicious activity to police

Law enforcement and outlaw motorcycle gangs

Combatting outlaw motorcycle gangs and organized crime is a national priority for law enforcement.

The Canadian Integrated Response to Organized Crime coordinates a national effort to disrupt organized crime by encouraging information sharing between law enforcement agencies.

Its partners include:

  • municipal and provincial police agencies
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Criminal Intelligence Service Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
  • other federal government departments
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