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Cyclist threatened with "foot-long knife" during latest south London bike robbery

"Shocking as it was, I am particularly annoyed at finding out this is a hotspot and there does not seem to be any meaningful warning signs or police prevention"...

A cyclist — robbed of their bike and mobile phone by two balaclava-clad men on a south London cycle route close to where multiple similar attacks have happened — has expressed frustration at the lack of police action.

The road.cc reader told us they were robbed on Saturday lunchtime on a 'Quietway' part of the C10 cycle route in Bermondsey by two "balaclava-clad men" who knocked the rider off the bike and threatened them with a "foot-long serrated knife".

It happened at around 12.30pm on the cycling route under St James's Road, on Stevenson Crescent, just minutes away from another stretch of C10 where, earlier this year, a graffitied warning was sprayed on the tarmac after multiple robberies and muggings.

> Cyclists report multiple muggings and thefts on London cycle route

"Two balaclava-clad men wearing black, one wielding a foot-long serrated knife, knocked me off my bike and, while one was threatening to use the blade, the other took the bike and the mobile phone on it," the reader told us.

"Shocking as it was, I am particularly annoyed at finding out that this is a hotspot and there does not seem to be any meaningful warning signs or police prevention."

road.cc contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment and raised the rider's concern about an apparent lack of action at a bike robbery hotspot, but were told just that, "Police were called to Stevenson Crescent, SE16, on Saturday, 22 October at 12.32hrs to reports of a robbery.

"Officers attended. It was reported that a 53-year-old cyclist had a bicycle and mobile phone stolen by two males, one of whom was armed with a knife. There have been no arrests. Enquiries are ongoing."

Graffiti warning cyclists on C10 (credit - Karl Thomas, Facebook)

Last month, we reported that a graffitied warning telling cyclists: 'Be aware, robbery and theft on this route' had been sprayed onto the tarmac of C10 near The Den, Millwall Football Club's stadium.

> "Deeply concerned" British Cycling steps in following spate of violent bikejackings across south London

That came after various reports of "masked men" wielding knives and targeting cyclists for their bikes.

One local cyclist Euan told road.cc that he has "stopped cycling into work entirely" due to fears that he will be targeted by muggers after he saw "men in balaclavas watching cyclists on the route on multiple occasions".

"I've heard about this happening via multiple sources for months and the police absolutely can't be bothered," he told us.

In August, a member of the Lewisham Cyclists Facebook group reported that a female cyclist was attacked and had her bike stolen by "two men in balaclavas" in the same area. 

"I was pushed off my bike and robbed by boys in masks a couple of years ago near that route," another female cyclist said.

 In July, British Cycling said it was "deeply concerned" by the rise in bikejackings across south London, with policy manager Nick Chamberlin publishing a response to outline the issue, telling members to "think carefully about the rides they have planned".

Chamberlin said: "We have heard from lots of clubs and individuals who are rightly very concerned about going out for a ride. It is extremely hard to discuss these sorts of issues without causing panic and the last thing any of us would wish is to deter people from cycling this summer through a fear of being attacked.

"The sad reality however is that when these spikes in violent crime occur, and while we try to understand the pattern of incidents better, it is prudent for individuals, clubs and groups to discuss these concerns together and think carefully about the rides they have planned.

"As with the incidents that occurred in Richmond Park last year, we know that by working together as a cycling community to quickly pass relevant information to the police we can support them to quickly and effectively tackle the issue."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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4 comments

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a1white | 1 year ago
0 likes

This used to be my daily route, quick and easy route along quiet roads. I've stopped using it now. The amount of attacks have just become ridiculous now.I've never seen any police presence in the 10+ years I've been cycling the route (going back to when it was just an old LCN route). It's not even like you can say to avoid it at night. This was in the middle of the day! I've been using C4 to get in and out of London, now it is nearly finished (apart from the section on Lower Road), it is so good.

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes

That's absolutely dreadful, hope the reader is not too traumatised. In terms of police presence, that particular section of the route, although close to the dangerous part by South Bermondsey station, is really quiet, a peaceful residential area where I've never seen any trouble in many years of cycling through there. I wonder if the police have been paying more attention to the section behind the Millwall ground and so the criminals are just shifting their location.

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alchemilla | 1 year ago
1 like

A regular police presence here might help deter the thieves, but of course all the police are stuck inside doing paperwork. More officers are needed.

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open_roads | 1 year ago
4 likes

It's all very well passing information quickly to the police but as the ongoing muggings in Richmond show - the police are largely incapable of identifying or catching the attackers.

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