Friday, November 09, 2007 XXXXXXXX targeted in roadside crackdown 5:36p.m. 9 November 2007 â€œWe donâ€™t want you here.â€ That was the strong, stark message sent to about 150 XXXXXXXX motorcycle gang members who arrived in Caloundra this afternoon. Police, having planned well in advance for what they knew was the annual meeting for the motorcycle gang on the Coast, were ready â€“ and waiting. A virtual ambush of the bikers took place half way along Caloundra Road, where the entire entourage was able to be shepherded into a side road â€“ and where police undertook a thorough search of XXXXXXXX members along with checks of their bikes and possessions. â€œTodayâ€™s operation response is part of Operation Foxtrot Divorce, which is a strategic attack on outlaw motorcycle gangs, not just in the Sunshine Coast district but right throughout the North Coast region,â€ police superintendent Ben Hanbidge said. â€œThe operation coincided with the arrival of an outlaw motorcycle gang called the XXXXXXXX who are travelling en masse to Caloundra for their annual conference. â€œApproximately 150 bikers and vehicles were intercepted this afternoon on Caloundra road and a number of suspects are being interviewed with respect to a number of matters.â€ Supt Hanbidge said a quantity of drugs and a firearm were located and investigations were continuing. Worse for some bikers, a number of traffic infringement notices were issued â€“ and bikes were taken off the road. The huge police operation was intended to send a message not only to the XXXXXXXX but to outlaw motorcycle gangs in general. â€œThey are unwelcome,â€ Supt Hanbidge said. â€œThey tend to instil fear into the community. â€œThey do intimidate local residents, and they commit traffic violations. Supt Hanbidge said the biker gang were organised criminals. â€œThe bikies do not call themselves outlaw motorcycle gangs without good cause â€“ they are a very well organised crime gang,â€ he said. "Obviously they are not here to organise a pie drive.'' â€œWhile we cannot stop them coming to the Sunshine Coast, we can make it uncomfortable for them, and let them know we know what they are doing.â€ Police intend to monitor the gang throughout the weekend â€“ their annual meeting is not scheduled to finish until Sunday. The motorcycle members are understood to be staying at a nearby hotel, having virtually booked it out. According to Supt Hanbidge, the interception was one of the largest â€“ and successful â€“ of its kind. â€œCertainly to my knowledge this has been one of the largest interception responses,â€ he said. â€œIt was not just Coast police involved in the operation. State Operations Command, North Coast police as well as Transport Department officers were involved, along with dog squad, explosives sniffer dogs.â€ But the bikers appeared surprised when they were cornered, he said. â€œI think (they were) â€“ this was very well planned â€“ we shepherded them into a side road,â€ he said. â€œThey had no real option.â€ Traffic was banked up along Caloundra Road for almost two hours as drivers slowed down to see the drama. The bikers were segregated for about an hour. Link to Source *what quantity of weapons/drugs were found, and how does that compare to a general cross section of the community as a percentage? *do YOU feel intimidated by events/gatherings such as these? *is this a waste of police resources? have they achieved anything? thoughts, opinions?