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Three arrested after gang attacks on cyclists in North London

Local cycling advocate suggests riders pair up for safety

Police have arrested three men in connection with a series of attacks on cyclists in the Walthamstow Marshes area, including the knifepoint theft of a bike.

There have been more than five gang attacks on people riding through the area, according to Zoie O'Brien of the Waltham Forest Guardian.

A cyclist was attacked by a group of 12 men on Sunday April 5. He was threatened with a knife and hit on the head before his bike and other items were stolen.

On March 24 another rider was punched to the ground and his bike stolen by a gang on the same route.

Officers from Hackney arrested three men last Thursday. They were questioned at a station in Stoke Newington and bailed unti May 20.

Enquiries continue and other suspects “remain unidentified” according to police, though it has not been confirmed what the men were arrested on suspicion of.

The Metropolitan Police has not responded to's requests for comments on the spate of attacks and thefts on cyclists, or advice on how cyclists should keep themselves safe.

Simon Munk of Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign told Waltham Forest Guardian the police response had been poor.

Munk said: “Keep cycling, but keep your wits about you.

“What’s worrying is most of these attacks aren’t taking place in the dark but in the early evening.

“Maybe consider 'buddying up' by riding alongside others when going through isolated areas.”

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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antonio | 8 years ago

Cut backs on police funding, no policemen on the beat leading to 'reported crime' down. Police stations closed, police stations undermanned. Police crime commissioner quangos and rising distrust in crime figures, look no further.

alotronic | 8 years ago

Sympathy to the victims - very scary.

My part of the world. Very easy down Coppermill lane way to mug a cyclist - many remote points where you have to slow down, or easy to block a lane. Hmmmm.... (thinks hard about that helmet cam idea)

I have ridden past groups of young men down there myself - they can be very intimidating. I make sure I am riding very fast and my very bright light is pointed up to eye level in such a case - less likely to attack a UFO?!

Ironically less of a problem in winter as no one but mad cyclists want to be down there in the proper dark and cold.

Problem probably just that one group, so it should diminish now. Not exactly the cleverest crime is it? More thrills than a serious money maker.

OldRidgeback | 8 years ago

This is another reason for having a cheap hack for commuting. A basic Carrera or Decathlon can be inexpensive to buy but still good enough quality for regular commuting. Keep the good bike for training rides.

Airzound | 8 years ago

Memoirs of a Survivor - Doris Lessing, the breakdown of a society into anarchy.

billyman | 8 years ago

It's something i worry about on my nightly commutes home. I often see gangs eying me up. Too easy a target.

Colin Peyresourde | 8 years ago

I think I saw one of them being arrested.

velodinho | 8 years ago

I've seen groups of young guys milling around there as I dash through. Ironically enough these events appear to be happening just a few weeks after Sustrans were on the marsh doing surveys and handing out chocolate brownies.

Be safe out there. Think and assess clearly.

Sub5orange | 8 years ago

London 2015, cyclists to travel in caravans (old sense of the word) to save guard themselves against attack, how medieval

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