Volume 95, Issue 65
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Biker bunkers raise fears
Police investigating ways to combat gang wars
By Joel Brown
With rising fears of biker wars in London, police are working with city officials to develop a bylaw that would forbid gangs to "bunker-ize" their clubhouses.
According to London Police Department Const. Ryan Holland, for easier searches, LPD would like to see gangs prohibited from constructing brick walls and heavy, reinforced screening and doors around their operations.
Holland said police would like to take advantage of the province's new Municipal Act that prohibits the excess fortification of residential buildings.
"This isn't something we'd be expecting in the immediate future," Holland said. "We want to build a bylaw that will be able to stand-up throughout all the expected court challenges."
London's community and protective services committee was briefed on the police's progress yesterday.
While the presence of biker gangs has recently caused great public concern Holland said police will proceed in a cautious manner when dealing with the gangs to make sure they do not rush into problems.
"Our actions so far have been very intelligence-based and we've been examining a number of directions we can go," Holland said. "In the meantime, we'll continue to take a very proactive approach and keep a very strong uniform presence in the community."
In campus crime news, police are investigating an assault in front of Essex Hall on Friday, said Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department.
A group of people were involved in the altercation. One person sustained minor injuries and required medical attention, McGowan said. No other details were released due to the ongoing investigation.
Last Wednesday, a female student had her purse snatched from her bag during a night class at the Natural Sciences Centre. After the class break, she returned to her seat to find the purse was taken.
"For all those who leave their seat during their break, it's important they take their valuables to avoid thefts," McGowan said.
As well, two men were found climbing their way up the crane at University Hospital on Sunday. While there is no word on whether they made it to the summit, police did apprehend the two and charged them with trespassing.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001