Mass motorbike gang causes traffic jams in Bethlehem
A gathering of more than 100 Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members, believed to be attending a memorial service at Te Wairoa Marae, triggered a large police operation in Bethlehem during the weekend which caused major traffic jams.
The road policing operation caused traffic congestion and delays along State Highway 2 on Saturday morning but Senior Sergeant Denis Murphy said the police were not apologetic.
While the delays to other motorists and road users were "unfortunate", the police made "no apology for policing gangs".
A large gathering of motorcycle gang members prompted a major police operation. Photo / Andrew Warner
At one point during the operation police closed off the roundabout near the Bethlehem Birthing Centre on the corner of Te Paeroa Rd, causing traffic to back up all the way to Omokoroa one way and 11th Ave the other.
There was a heavy police presence and cordons at the Te Paeroa Rd roundabout. Te Paeroa Rd was blocked off and being used by police to process motorcyclists. There was also a smaller police presence near Wairoa Bridge.
A reporter at the scene counted at least nine police officers on one end of the cordon and six police cars and at least 18 police officers at the other end.
Mr Murphy said historically gang rides had caused public concern with members riding en masse.
He said there were just over 100 motorcyclists who came from local chapters as well as from Auckland.
Police oversee the convoy of Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members.
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