|BMF SAY SHOWS MUST GO ON
August 22 2008.
The British Motorcyclists Federation have written to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith MP, the Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy MP and the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Ken Jones QPM, objecting to the enforced cancellation of numerous motorcycle shows this year saying that the cancellations are totally unjustified and discriminatory.
As organisers of five motorcycle event throughout the UK, including the largest of its type in Europe, the BMF Show, the BMF have not been affected directly but say that police pressure, citing concerns over gang violence - but offering no evidence - has been responsible for the cancellation of many other events. These include:
* Driffield Bike Day and DABS Rally, Yorkshire (23 - 25 May)
* The Welsh National Motorcycle Show 23 - 26 May
* Past it MCC 13th Birthday Party 31st May
* Stourbridge MCC's Midsummer Bash 21st June
* Rock and Blues 24th - 27th July
* Stourbridge MCC's Woizel Rally 8th 9th 10th August
* Great Yorkshire Bike Show 15th-16th August
* Past It MCC's 10th Zimmer Frame Rally 22nd - 24th August
* Patriot Games Rock Festival, Monmouth 22nd - 24th August
* Isle of Anglesey Motorcycle Show 22nd -25th August
In the letter, the BMF points out that fair and reasonably minded motorcyclists are incensed that their events are being cancelled, while many music festivals and football matches that have an established pattern of drugs or violence, are allowed to go ahead.
BMF Chairman Anna Zee, said: "It is extraordinary that the authorities seem to assume that a motorcycle gathering must mean trouble. The BMF runs some very large shows, with attendances of up to 85,000 with never a hint of trouble. Nor are we aware of any previous history of problems at the events cancelled this year. With so many cancellations, and the reasons for them being shrouded in mystery, we feel that motorcyclists are suffering completely unjustified discrimination."
As a responsible body, the BMF says it understands that the police sometimes have to advise against running events for reasons of public safety, but in these cases it is concerned that prejudice and not evidence, is informing the decision.
As the largest representative body for motorcyclists in the UK, the BMF is now seeking a meeting with the Home Office with the aim of avoiding any repeat of these actions.