Sons of Anarchy blamed for rise in outlaw motorcycle gangs in N.S.

The comments were made Monday during a presentation on biker gangs to the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners.

'They think the camaraderie is there based on the TV show and they're joining up,' says Const. Scott Morrison

Sons of Anarchy ran on FX from 2008 to 2014 and followed the exploits of a fictional California outlaw motorcycle gang. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Nova Scotia RCMP say membership in outlaw motorcycle gangs is on the rise in the province, thanks to the popularity of a television series that went off the air 3½ years ago.

"Ever since the phenomenon of Sons of Anarchy, more people want to join that life, [they] think it's a brotherhood, " said Const. Scott Morrison. "They think the camaraderie is there based on the television show and they're joining up."

Morrison was part of a presentation on biker gangs to the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners.

RCMP Const. Scott Morrison said many of the friend or support clubs in Nova Scotia are affiliated with either the Bacchus or the Hells Angels. (Radio-Canada)

Morrison said the clubs can shift and merge, but they are not going away. For instance, there are no longer any chapters of the Gate Keepers, but there are still 14 outlaw, support and friend clubs across the province with up to 200 members.

Support clubs do not necessarily operate under the direction of a biker gang, but can work security and sell gear at events.

Outlaws, Hells Angels Rivalry

Friend clubs do get involved with the drug trade and the violence associated with it, such as collecting debts.

The Hells Angels had been selling T-shirts at the annual Wharf Rat Rally in Digby, but police pointed out sales were supporting a criminal organization and it is no longer given a vendor permit.

Many of the friend or support clubs in Nova Scotia are affiliated with either the Bacchus or the Angels, but a new club called the Black Pistons recently opened in Cape Breton. It's affiliated with the Outlaws, who are deadly rivals with the Angels.

Violent clashes

There have been a number of violent clashes in New Brunswick attributed to this rivalry.

"The public could be hurt in the crossfire," said Morrison. "That's why we want to send a message that they're not welcome here."

RCMP say they soon expect a Black Pistons club to open in the Halifax area.

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About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca