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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74910 Find in a Library
Title: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs - A Look at a New Form of Organized Crime
Journal: Canadian Criminology Forum  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1980)  Pages:26-36
Author(s): T Hill
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article views outlaw motorcycle gangs, as they have evolved in Canada and the United States, as organized crime groups, with similarities to as well as differences from traditional organized crime forms.
Abstract: Outlaw motorcycle gangs, such as California's Hell's Angels, Toronto's Satan's Choice, and Detroit's Scorpions Motorcycle Club, reject the standards of their society; use outlandish trappings and uniforms designed to instill fear in law-abiding citizens, whom they intimidate, harass, and victimize at will; perform strange initiation rites which include sexual offenses and violent acts; and place their gang and its criminal projects above all other aspects of their lives. They share with traditional organized crime groups, such as the Mafia, a tight hierarchical structure, illicit trafficking (especially in narcotics) to earn money, and the liberal use of criminal profits to pay defense counsel fees and post bail for their arrested members. However, whereas traditional organized crime groups evolved as part of the society within which they operate, outlaw motorcycle gangs detached themselves from society from the outset. Whereas traditional organized crime members operate discreetly to avoid detention, outlaw motorcycle gangs flaunt their crimes with aparent impunity. Law enforcement has failed to contain the type of crimes committed by outlaw motorcycle gangs because criminal law emphasizes the individual rather than groups and lenient provisions relating to bail allow the gangs to pay the required bail money out of their illicit profits. Endnotes and 14 references are appended. A summary in French is also supplied.
Index Term(s): Canada; Gangs; Motorcycles; Organized crime; Police effectiveness; Subculture theory; United States of America; Violence
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