Government officials have asked that police units bolster street patrols and increase roadside checks after a series of disturbances linked to purported youth motorcycle gangs in New Taipei City’s Sanchong (三重), Lujhou (蘆洲), Yonghe (永和) and Jhonghe (中和) districts over the past few days.
Officials said the agitation began on Tuesday, with a street fight between rival “motorcycle gangs,” resulting in injuries and knife wounds to several individuals.
Local authorities said youth groups they described as “gangs” from Sanchong and Lujhou districts took on others based in Jhonghe and Yonghe districts.
The violence led to more confrontations and “revenge” over the following days, at times with more than 100 young riders navigating New Taipei City streets late at night, which officials said fed fear and public security concerns for residents.
To stem the nighttime disturbances and maintain road safety, law enforcement personnel had made 25 arrests as of Friday.
Police confiscated weapons carried by suspected gang members, listing scores of knives, baseball bats, clubs, iron bars and even Japanese samurai swords among the contraband.
Officials said residents became more frightened when some people began to post pictures and messages online with threats and boasts such as: “Be careful of random knife-slashing on the streets,” and “It is a war for Sanchong and Luzhou gangs against Jhonghe and Yonghe gangs.”
The Taipei City Government on Friday also bolstered police presence and increased roadside checks.
As government officials touted the success of the crackdown in protecting public safety, fresh fighting and the gathering of suspected gang members were reported in Sanchong yesterday morning.
New Taipei City police said a preliminary investigation and evidence suggested involvement by chapters of the Bamboo Union (竹聯幫) and Celestial Way Gang (天道盟) in the past week’s disturbances, given the triads’ “behind-the-scenes” support of the groups.
A second theory said the incidents began when a group of youths from Jhonghe and Yonghe went to a billiard parlor in Lujhou for games and entertainment, but got into an argument with locals.
Some members of one of the groups made derogatory remarks about the others and the areas where they came from, which led to more accusations and online posts that led to the series of confrontations.
Law enforcement agencies in Taipei and New Taipei City have promised starting this weekend to implement a strong response with hundreds of police officers to restrain potential motorcycle gang activity and ensure public safety.
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