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martin schulz
06-25-2008, 02:45 AM
Ehm...this will sound like I am promoting self-justice...oh well...

The problem:

The Museumharbour "marina" is open for the public, because that is the deal we made with the city-council. The idea is that we have a place for our boats and the city has a place to sent tourists to.
Because we can't lock the marina we also have a lot of vandalism, especially during weekends, since a lot of binge-drinking young people spent the night at the harbourfront. At a certain time (usually around 4 am, when the clubs close) those people feel the need to wander around, brawl, get in fights, throw any unfastened object they can find in the bay and break in our kiosk in search of another beer...
Last week I was called in the court to testify against 2 chaps who have broken in the kiosk last year, but it turned out that they were already in prison for some minor offenses and the hearing was called off (I didn't even have the chance to take a look at the guys).

The solution?
When I complained about the situation to the water police they said that I should report any incident and then...perhaps...they will couch to see if they can get some perpetrator.
Needless to say that this will solve nothing.
Another chap at the police office adviced me to talk to the bikers, who own a club right across the street. He said that they will probably sort everything out.

The idea was very appealing to me on the other side I know that the members of the club are an official Hells Angels Chapter. And what I definitely don't want is to pay money to Hells Angel or have to fear even worse vandalism (if I decline any payment).

Ideas?

seanz
06-25-2008, 02:56 AM
Ideas?

The city council wants the area to be open at night on weekends?
Hire a professional (not the Angels) security firm to provide patrols on weekends and ask the council to chip in for costs.

martin schulz
06-25-2008, 03:01 AM
Ideas?

The city council wants the area to be open at night on weekends?
Hire a professional (not the Angels) security firm to provide patrols on weekends and ask the council to chip in for costs.

Yeah I tried that approach.
The city-council said they won't pay for private security companies, because thats what the police is for... (running in circles I am).

paladin
06-25-2008, 03:06 AM
you might get some dummy surveillance cameras and have them labelled "gestapo security" or something...hang them in the open, with a battery operated led...should run for months on one battery....

The Bigfella
06-25-2008, 03:51 AM
Take the Angels for a sail. Quid pro quo. You do something friendly for them, they might just do something friendly for you.

Tylerdurden
06-25-2008, 05:23 AM
Real Bikers are very easy to deal with. Think of a pack of wolves and act accordingly. Show no fear but respect.
Some of the best friends to have on this planet and I would not have a doubt that many of them would like a crack at learning to sail.
Make sure the club president is on board and you will be good to go and have no further problems with the rabble.

PS.. Keep the women out of it unless you like to share.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-25-2008, 05:42 AM
I remember looking round a steam transport exhibition in Sudbury (steam launches, traction engines, etc) with a group of Hells' Angels who arrived on chopped Harleys and who were scrupulously polite and very interested (I did not, however, make the obvious crack about sharing an interest in out of date technologies!)

Having been Martin's guest at the MuseumHarbour, I can appreciate the problem - Flensburg is, to me, a most attractive town, but it has not (yet) been "gentrified" - it is somewhat economically depressed, and it retains certain traditional features (eg the red light district) adjacent to the MuseumHarbour.

Tylerdurden
06-25-2008, 05:44 AM
Having been Martin's guest at the MuseumHarbour, I can appreciate the problem - Flensburg is, to me, a most attractive town, but it has not (yet) been "gentrified" - it is somewhat economically depressed, and it retains certain traditional features (eg the red light district) adjacent to the MuseumHarbour.

Red light district? My kind of town:o

martin schulz
06-25-2008, 06:04 AM
Red light district? My kind of town:o

But you really don't want to get too close to the whores still in business in the Oluf-Samson alley:

http://www.etwilli.de/swe06/bilderklein/2006-09-01_19-23-44_k.jpg

I consider those whores to be a part of our maritime heritage in the same way I consider "our" passenger-steamer a Flensburg monument.

...unfortunately some of the "gals" have too much of tradition around them for my taste ;)

Spin_Drift
06-25-2008, 06:29 AM
Hi Martin,

Like Mark said, it might be a workable idea to enlist the president of the "club" as an ally. The others will follow his lead, but it would be a mistake to even talk to anyone else in the club about it first.

When I managed a R&B band in the SF Bay area, we had a couple of gigs in a Hells Angel bar. The legendary "Sonny" Barger came and sat with me through both of the evenings/nights as did a few others. They were all polite and well mannered.

Martin, if you treat the man with respect, without fear and as an equal, he will be OK with you and I think he would most likely really enjoy to go sailing with you.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2008, 10:06 AM
As someone involved in urban river restoration work, which often involves things like added amenities in city parks in difficult neighborhoods. I have some experience with this sort of thing. I can't really speak to the value of approaching the motorcycle club, but I can offer the following thoughts:

1. If there is any way you can, try to make sure that there are not places where someone can hide out of sight of the streets. At least over here, the police do not like to get out of their car, but if they can survey an area from their car they are more likely to keep an eye on it. Similarly, if you can light up areas so that potential troublemakers feel visible they are less likely to make trouble. This all gets into the realm of what is know is crime prevention through design. Edited to add: I am keenly aware that in a marina setting this is likely to be very hard to do given the very nature of what is there. Even without that issue, it is also something that is much easier to do at the design stage than later. That said, there are often ways to apply this sort of thinking "after the fact" at least to a degree without too much cost and trouble.

2. Cultivate a good relationship with the police. Go and meet with them and ask what you can do to help them patrol the area. I would report incidents to them so that they realize there is a problem and that someone cares about it.

3. Do what you can to make the obvious targets for vandalism very hard to break. Assume someone is going to try to bust something and build it to make that hard to do.

4. See if the city would be willing to allow you to sign the area as, say, closed from midnight to 6am or some such. That should not discourage the legitimate tourists and visitors but it does mean that if the police see someone in the area during the prohibited time they have justification for telling them to leave even if they are not actually committing vandalism. Around here, many of our fishing access sites are signed as closed from dawn to dusk except for fishing or boating, which basically means that if you get back from your boating outing after dusk there is no problem but if the police swing by and see people hanging out and having a beer party they can order them to leave. Similarly, most public parks are closed at night to again give the police the power to tell people to leave.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-25-2008, 10:43 AM
Bruce has to be right; he is speaking from practical experience of a similar situation.

Gary E
06-25-2008, 10:53 AM
Another chap at the police office adviced me to talk to the bikers, who own a club right across the street. He said that they will probably sort everything out.

The idea was very appealing to me on the other side I know that the members of the club are an official Hells Angels Chapter. And what I definitely don't want is to pay money to Hells Angel or have to fear even worse vandalism (if I decline any payment).


I had a customer whose sheetmetal/machine shop was in the worst area of the worst City in New Jersey... The local Hell's Angels had a house about 100 ft from their shop... The shop owner made a deal with them.. They did sheetmetal and machine work for protection of the area... It worked fine for all concerned...

Maybe you can take them out fishing or something??



4. See if the city would be willing to allow you to sign the area as, say, closed from midnight to 6am or some such.

Ohh yeah.. like a sign means anything toa empty street...
I gona guess Bruce is the only one to have NEVER PARKED IN A NO PARKING ZONE...
or farted in public...

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Ohh yeah.. like a sign means anything toa empty street...
I gona guess Bruce is the only one to have NEVER PARKED IN A NO PARKING ZONE...
or farted in public...

Apparently I did not make myself clear. The point of such signs is NOT that they stop people from going into the area, the point is that if the police see someone in the area (during the prohibited times), they can order them out of the area simply based on the fact that the person is there. They do not have to witness them doing something wrong to take action. This makes it easier to patrol the area. Of course if the police never patrol the area then this may be a moot point. However, that can sometimes be fixed by talking to the police department. Also, I suspect that if they get a lot of reports of vandalism in an area they are likely to patrol the area more. The city government probably does not want to see crime statistics rising for their city, and those statistics are presumably coming from just the crimes that are reported, so if they see spike in reports from a neighborhood they are likely to patrol there more. Of course the flip side of this is that with especially with stuff like graffiti it can simply be overwhelming to try to report every incident.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2008, 11:35 AM
Bruce has to be right; he is speaking from practical experience of a similar situation.

Thanks Andrew. I do have some practical experience with this, but not a vast amount...I am simply passing on the tidbits I have picked up from my local experience.

I do want to reiterate that I am not making any suggestions on the motorcycle club simply because that is not an area I have any experience in.

clancy
06-25-2008, 12:08 PM
Years ago I was testing sprinkler fire alarm systems in NYC. Some of our accounts were located on East 3rd Street where the local Hells Angels chapter had it's headquarters. The lower east side of Manhattan was notorious for the amount of crime that took place in the area but East 3rd Street was considered to be one of the safest blocks in all of NYC. This was simply because no one would mess with the club and they watched over everything that went on in their neighborhood. When I had to test buildings on that street I was required to go to the club house first and one of the members would escort me as I worked. I never felt threatened by anyone of them.

martin schulz
06-26-2008, 05:16 AM
Thanks for your assistance chaps :)

SpiDrift/Mark!
I will consider your advice and try to establish contact with the local HA President. Since I don't have the boats in the MuseumHarbour at my command it will be complicated to invite them on a sailing trip (my 24ft gaffer won't impress them). I will see if I can ask them to do the security-job during the rumregatta and invite them on a boat during the regatta.

Bruce!
I really appreciate your ideas, I am just a bit fed up with the police. This vandalism has been going on for years (sometimes better, sometimes worse). They (water police) don't have a problem controlling the MuseumHarbour (ordering owners painting their topsides to wear life-jackets) sitting in their speedboat in shorts & sunglasses, but when things really get tough they are nowhere in sight (as example they declined getting in action during a storm when a boat was about to break free, saying that is not their business).
I will (again) complain about the whole situation to the mayor. The pier is free to the public and people enjoy hanging out there having a beer in summer nights, which is fine with me, so closing the area is not really an option. Its just hard to differentiate between the relaxing citizen and the classic troublemaker.

Saltiguy
06-26-2008, 08:32 AM
STAY AWAY from the bikers! I grew up with a lot of guys who were from Italian Mafia families and who ended up in the mob. I am also acquainted with dozens of outlaw bikers - men I've known from childhood.
To meet mafia guys or outlaw bikers you would probably feel that they are "nice guys". They act nice. That is part of the culture - to be "nice" to "citizens". Do not forget however, you are dealing with criminals. They are people who are PROFESSIONAL criminals and spend all day, every day, looking for ways to lie cheat and steal. They will easily ingratiate themselves to you. They LOVE to be "nice" and do "favors" for people. They are always eager to buy you a drink or do some small favor for you, and some foolish people are lulled into the idea that they are their "friend".
Do not be deceived! Do not accept any favor from these people, and especially do not ask for any type of "protection-favor" from them. These people are not "nice", they will never be your "friend", and any relationship you have with them (however innocent) opens the door to problems you do not want to have.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-26-2008, 08:41 AM
Probably very good advice.

Gary E
06-26-2008, 08:50 AM
A good idea??? For Wimps....

Ya either talk to them and make a truce like the Co I know in Jersey did or...QUITCHERBITCHIN about the vandalisim... or DECLARE WAR,... who you think would win that??

Henning 4148
06-28-2008, 02:46 AM
Having seen your harbor a few years ago, I'd start with light, cameras and (as far as possible) good visibility and perhaps a good alarm. High frequency tones can also chase away teenagers. Perhaps a sign on your Kiosk, that there is no cash and alcohol stored after hours. Don't know if some of your people would be willing to patrol on weekends. Also, marinas with resident boaters (people sleeping on their boats) also have less trouble, especially if the rates for resident boaters are reduced for them to have an eye on things and call the police if there is trouble. Have seen it in the UK and it seemed to work well.

Saltiguy has a point, it's never a good idea to owe favors, especially if you don't understand the business of the people you owe favors to. I'd guess it's like an iceberg - what you see is only the smallest part ... As I don't think it is the bikers that misbehave (they wouldn't want to get in trouble for petty stuff like that, breaking kiosks is for schoolchildren and no hopers ...), I can't say if it makes sense to meet the president of your local chapter - in some way, he is your neighbor, but I'd say you should ask this question to senior police staff and if they agree, it might be a sensible idea, especially if one of them introduces you, it would give the whole thing a more official note. I guess this might be a keypoint - you need to talk to senior police guys. You have contact to the major of Flensburg, so you should also have contact to some high ranking police staff to discuss the issue. Also, if you get introduced by senior police staff, you wouldn't owe the favor as much, it would be more of a favor owed to the police. Probably, the police and the bikers owe each other several favors as is anyway.

As you probably know, there is a bit of a war between two biker clubs in Germany, having one of them officially as your security on the rum regatta or where ever just might make you a target for the other (or not, I don't know a lot about biker ethics, but from the little I know it can be a matter of life and death, Saltiguy certainly has a point).

SamSam
06-29-2008, 12:32 PM
STAY AWAY from the bikers! I grew up with a lot of guys who were from Italian Mafia families and who ended up in the mob. I am also acquainted with dozens of outlaw bikers - men I've known from childhood.
To meet mafia guys or outlaw bikers you would probably feel that they are "nice guys". They act nice. That is part of the culture - to be "nice" to "citizens". Do not forget however, you are dealing with criminals. They are people who are PROFESSIONAL criminals and spend all day, every day, looking for ways to lie cheat and steal. They will easily ingratiate themselves to you. They LOVE to be "nice" and do "favors" for people. They are always eager to buy you a drink or do some small favor for you, and some foolish people are lulled into the idea that they are their "friend".
Do not be deceived! Do not accept any favor from these people, and especially do not ask for any type of "protection-favor" from them. These people are not "nice", they will never be your "friend", and any relationship you have with them (however innocent) opens the door to problems you do not want to have.
This is what's what. Don't confuse people that own Harleys with bikers. Your neighbor might own a Harley, but hopefully you don't have a biker for a neighbor. Bikers were "security" for the Rolling Stones at Altamont. Bikers will fuck people up for fun. Bikers are brownshirts. Bikers are pathological. Bikers will get your 15 year old daughter loaded and pass her around, and then dump her somewhere.

You enter into an "arrangement" with them and then see what happens when your ideas of what's right and wrong differ from theirs. You enter into an arrangement with them, you might want to know how liable you are for what they do.

Tylerdurden
06-29-2008, 01:00 PM
I would take a Hells Angel at his word long before any weekend warriors. They may walk on the wrong side of social acceptably but they do have a code they live by. I may not agree with all they do but more often than not they will help someone without social judgment long before most of the beautiful people.

Saltiguy
06-29-2008, 08:24 PM
I see some of you are quite unaware about the true nature of (outlaw) bikers. They are organized crime gangs - nothing less. The Hells' Angels especially specialize in murder, narcotics distribution (meth) prostitution, white slavery, violence and extortion and anything else that comes along. Outlaw biker gangs have a close working relationship with the Italian Mafia, providing muscle and doing "hits" as requested. In return they have territorial agreements regarding drug distribution and prostitution. Individual members are always on the hustle, looking for an angle - someone to use or extort. Like the Italian and Irish gangs, they will rarely mess with a civilian - don't get involved with them, and they probably will not mess with you, but get too close, or make the mistake of asking for or accepting a favor, and you are fair game in their eyes. If you have a boat for example, you might be forced to be a mule and smuggle some drugs. ( just one possibility)
Like their Mafia counterparts, outlaw bikers appear to be friendly "nice guys" alway ready (even eager) to do you a small favor. They will even make a show of charitable activities ( toys for kids in the neighborhood at Christmas for example), but as said earlier, do not be decieved - you do NOT want to be involved with these people, even in the smallest way.

stevebaby
06-30-2008, 09:47 PM
Take the Angels for a sail. and don't bring them back.