Saskatoon police keeping close eye on Hells Angels

Police are concerned the Hells Angels here will follow the pattern of chapters in other provinces and move into strip clubs.

Concern grows as province's strip club laws poised to change

The Saskatoon chapter hosted a national conference last summer. ((CBC))

Saskatoon police say it's a natural combination – booze, bars and bikers.

That's why officers are keeping a close eye on the Hells Angels.

In July, strip clubs in the province that offer partial nudity will be able to sell alcohol. And Inspector Jerome Engele says if the experience in other provinces is an accurate measure, the Angels will be involved.

"Members of the Hells Angels organization in Saskatoon are definitely on the Saskatoon police service's radar. We do actively investigate them," he said.

Investigate – but not prosecute. The 28 full patch members in Saskatchewan keep a low profile compared to their counterparts in other provinces. The Ontario Supreme Court, for example, classifies the Hells Angels in that province as an organized crime group. But not so here.

"We have no charges, and as a result they are normal citizens going about living their own normal lives," he said.

This normalcy is what puzzles Engele, especially after last summer.

That's when hundreds of Hells Angels from across the country converged on Saskatoon for the organization's annual "Canada Run." It was an honour for the Saskatoon chapter, with 16 members, to host a national conference.

"It's a big concern of mine because of the fact why is Saskatoon being nationally recognized? What have they done? Where have they been?"

Engele says he's also concerned because there are four more full-time members in the club since last year.