Claims of police intimidation

Police defend big force, but Tramps MC president, solicitor not happy

LEGAL FIGHT: Tramps Motorcycle Club solicitor John Suta and president Ronnie Harding were at the Firearms Appeal Committee hearing last week.

PUBLIC order response police in Wangaratta on the weekend have been described as unreasonable and intimidating, but Victoria Police says it had a duty to protect the city.

Wangaratta Police Service Area commander, Inspector David Ryan, said 21 extra police were brought from Melbourne in response to the Tramps Motorcycle Club protest event against anti organised crime laws, which he said was publicised as bringing a large number of outlaw motorcycle gang members to Wangaratta.

“For me to do nothing other than a localised response would have been a failure in my duty,” he said.

“I’ve got a duty to look after everyone in Wangaratta.”

Insp Ryan was present on Saturday night and said the Melbourne police were professional, but Tramps solicitor, John Suta, has called the response “an unnecessary show of force”.

And Tramps president, Ronnie Harding, told the Wangaratta Chronicle yesterday he had “never seen a police rollout like that ever before”.

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