Early-career offending trajectories among outlaw motorcycle gang members

Photo of motorbike gang
Abstract

This study examines the criminal histories of outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) members during adolescence and early adulthood to determine whether the profile of young members has changed over time. The recorded offence histories of three cohorts of members—those born between 1979 and 1983, 1984 and 1988, and 1989 and 1993—were compared.

Seventy-eight percent of OMCG members across all three cohorts had at least one recorded offence between the ages of 12 and 24. The majority of offenders did not desist but continued offending at a steady rate into adulthood. The youngest cohort in the study was more likely than the middle and older cohorts to have a criminal history and follow a high-rate offending trajectory. Members of the youngest cohort were also more likely to have been apprehended for violence and intimidation, weapons and ongoing criminal enterprise offences by their early twenties.

These results suggest that OMCGs are recruiting younger members, who are becoming involved in gang-related offending earlier in life, or that individuals with a history of offending are becoming more likely to join or be recruited into OMCGs.