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Cyclists report multiple muggings and thefts on London cycle route

A warning has been painted on the entrance to a section of Cycleway 10 in south east London, following concerns over the path’s safety

Graffiti telling cyclists to beware of bike thieves has been daubed on the entrance to a section of a south east London cycle route following reports of robberies and muggings by “masked men” in recent months.

Multiple cyclists have contacted the Metropolitan Police, Lewisham Council and British Cycling after a local cycling Facebook group reported that masked, knife-wielding thieves were targeting solo bike riders at night on a quiet portion of Cycleway 10 (formerly known as Quietway 1) near The Den, Millwall Football Club’s stadium.

Social media warning of muggings on C10 (mapesburyroad)

A social media message warning lone cyclists to avoid the area at night

Local cyclist Euan told road.cc that he has “stopped cycling into work entirely” due to fears that he will be targeted by muggers.

“This used to be my only safe route into work, but I’ve seen men in balaclavas watching cyclists on the route on multiple occasions and I simply don’t think it’s safe,” he says.

“I’ve heard about this happening via multiple sources for months and the police absolutely can’t be bothered.”

> Cyclist stabbed multiple times by gang who stole his bike

A number of other cyclists have also reported their experiences on the cycle route on social media. A month ago, a Reddit user claimed that at around 5.45pm on a weekday evening a group of men standing at the corner of Surrey Canal Road and Senegal Way could be heard discussing whether they “should get that one”.

“Wasn't sure if they were intending to mug but it made me uneasy… and there seems to be targeting going on in the area. Will be changing my route in evenings,” the user said.

> Cyclists robbed by moped gang as two more bikejackings reported across south London

Last month, 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. The same user also claimed earlier this week that their neighbour was attacked by the muggers, and now no longer cycles due to fears for her safety and is “moving to somewhere she can take the tube to work”.

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

Local police have contacted the Lewisham Cyclists group to inform them that they are aware of several incidents involving bikejackings on C10 and say they are adding the route to their patrol paths.

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

Violent bike thefts have become a worryingly common occurrence over the past year. 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 what British Cycling is doing and offering advice.

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.”

> Lone female cyclists are “being targeted”, says former Scottish champion

With the rise in incidents showing few signs of abating, British Cycling has advised that members in affected areas should plan rides and events carefully, be mindful of privacy settings on devices and contact its incident helpline as well as the police to report incidents and/or threatening behaviour.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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30 comments

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Simon_MacMichael | 1 year ago
15 likes

Gentle reminder that anyone violating site terms and conditions risks getting banned, possibly permanently.

We won't be hearing from EM69 for a while.

 

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grOg replied to Simon_MacMichael | 1 year ago
0 likes

Exactly which of the site terms and conditions were breached by EM69?

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Rendel Harris replied to grOg | 1 year ago
3 likes

grOg wrote:

Exactly which of the site terms and conditions were breached by EM69?

"Visitors may post reviews, comments, and other content: and submit suggestions, ideas, comments, questions, or other information, so long as the content is not illegal, obscene, threatening or personally abusive, defamatory, invasive of privacy, infringing of intellectual property rights, or otherwise injurious to third parties or objectionable"

Their comments were possibly illegal under laws relating to racial hatred; they were most certainly objectionable.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
4 likes

I've never understood why some people get so het up about how far they can go before getting banned, on here.

It's a privately owned site, so ultimately they can (presumably?) ban anyone they want for any reason they want?

I do sometimes suspect that the only reason someone wants to know exactly what the T&C say is so they can push as close to the edge as they can...

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iandusud | 1 year ago
3 likes

Surely it would be easy enough for the police send a plain clothes officer down there regularly on a nice bike fitted with a tracker. Do they not think that this is serious crime. I'm sure it is for any of the victims. One my daughters cycles daily in London and another in Bristol. I can't imagine how I would feel if one of them got mugged for their bike. As it is one of them recently had her bike stolen from inside the house where she lives, which was very upsetting, but at least she wasn't confronted and threatened with violence. 

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mark1a replied to iandusud | 1 year ago
6 likes

iandusud wrote:

Surely it would be easy enough for the police send a plain clothes officer down there regularly on a nice bike fitted with a tracker. Do they not think that this is serious crime. I'm sure it is for any of the victims. One my daughters cycles daily in London and another in Bristol. I can't imagine how I would feel if one of them got mugged for their bike. As it is one of them recently had her bike stolen from inside the house where she lives, which was very upsetting, but at least she wasn't confronted and threatened with violence. 

The immediate flaw in this is that it requires a police officer to get out of their car, or perhaps even leave the station. 

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EM69 | 1 year ago
1 like

With criminal gangs arriving by the boatload every day plus the police too busy taking the knee and dancing the macarena along with the hate campaign by certain types within msm and majority of motorists I'd say we're fooked as cyclists in this country. 

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jackseph replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
21 likes

Ah. Racism. Didn't take long. 

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essexian replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
15 likes

Love to see your evidence for any of the crap you have just posted.

 

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hawkinspeter replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
16 likes

Well, looks like you're a racist prick

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TheBillder replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
11 likes
EM69 wrote:

With criminal gangs arriving by the boatload every day

Not sure I understand the implication here. Could you clarify, and perhaps provide a reference for any assertion you wish to make?

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Secret_squirrel replied to TheBillder | 1 year ago
21 likes

TheBillder wrote:
EM69 wrote:

With criminal gangs arriving by the boatload every day

Not sure I understand the implication here. Could you clarify, and perhaps provide a reference for any assertion you wish to make?

I think he means this lot.  (Genuine front cover of the economist).

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hawkinspeter replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
7 likes

Typical left-wing press just trying to jump on any slight mistake by our leaders...

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iandusud replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
5 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

Typical left-wing press just trying to jump on any slight mistake by our leaders...

 

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Rendel Harris replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
8 likes

Bit early in the day to have that much of a load on, fella.

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Adam Sutton replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
11 likes

We were burgled in 2017, totally brazen in the early evening and proper shook us up, not only walking in and finding drawers and cupboards open, but added that the neighbours CCTV showed the car came back while I was there and the police car outside. Not a lot to me as 5'6" overweight guy, so for the week after I was carrying a hammer in my work bag which I would take out when walking back home.

Crap like you spew doesn't help anyone, its baseless racist, xenophobic crap. What's my reasoning for saying that? Well we were lucky, the thief was caught and most of our stuff returned, he was local, he was white, he was British.

I also a few months back had a bunch of yobs on mopeds try and take my bike. Again very much white british scum.

F*** off, twat.

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Secret_squirrel replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
4 likes

EM69 wrote:

With criminal gangs arriving by the boatload every day plus the police too busy taking the knee and dancing the macarena along with the hate campaign by certain types within msm and majority of motorists I'd say we're fooked as cyclists in this country. 

Am I the only innocent here that assumed this was sarcasm?  Or have I missed Nige's latest alias?

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Rendel Harris replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
4 likes

Secret_squirrel wrote:

Am I the only innocent here that assumed this was sarcasm?  Or have I missed Nige's latest alias?

That's another reason it would be useful for this site to offer the facility to look at one's own posting history and that of others, it would be easier to tell if someone was being sarcastic/ironic or not.

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giff77 replied to EM69 | 1 year ago
6 likes

EM69 wrote:

With criminal gangs arriving by the boatload every day plus the police too busy taking the knee and dancing the macarena along with the hate campaign by certain types within msm and majority of motorists I'd say we're fooked as cyclists in this country. 

The DM website is that way ->

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
5 likes

A guy I know was bike-jacked not far away from this in Burgess Park not long ago. A couple of lads stepped out from the shadows and threw an old bike at him. He held onto his bike but when a couple more lads appeared, he let them take it. He's a big fit guy but decided it wasn't worth the risk.

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steaders1 | 1 year ago
3 likes

This country is is full of plonkers in cars who hate cyclists and tossers like these who think we are an easy target and what do the police do about either, next to feck all

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Joe Totale | 1 year ago
2 likes

It appears the muggers are specifically targeting female riders according to posts I've seen on the Lewisham Cyclist's Facebook page. As mentioned by other commenters it's basically an alleyway with no means of escape so easy picking for muggers.

I've personally never found Lower Road/Evelyn Street to be that bad and now with more segregation in place IMO it's definitely preferable to C10

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a1white replied to Joe Totale | 1 year ago
1 like

must admit, I've probably naively cycled along here at all hours of the day for years and not thought much of it. Now that C4 is pretty much complete (apart the bit in the middle), I'll probably be much more likely to use that now -especially late at night. A few Police patrols down that path a few times a week later on, to move on any gangs would be very helpful.

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
7 likes

I regularly use that path to get out to Greenwich, I wouldn't go near it after dark nor would I advise anyone else to; the only danger I have ever seen there has been from groups of youths calling out "hey mate you've got a puncture" in order to make you stop, but it is a mugger's dream, totally isolated and with no escape route. I'd advise anyone concerned to go down Ilderton Road to the west of the Millwall ground and turn left on Surrey Canal Road which has an excellent very wide shared footpath (with very few pedestrians) that runs parallel to the dodgy path on the south side of the ground, also plenty of traffic coming by to deter ne'erdowells, plus the potential to get onto the road to escape if there's trouble looming.

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a1white replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
4 likes

I've cycled (quickly) past a dodgy looking gang futher along, under one of the bridges recently. At that point the escape route down to the road is impossible, as you are up a steep enbankment with a vertical drop to the road. I don't think it is just the Millwall path part, reading the comments on te lewisham cycle group. At night, i think I'm going to use the much improved C4 route now, along the main road.

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a1white | 1 year ago
4 likes

Ok, now I'm worried. I use this route very regularly. I was cycling back one early evening recently and spotted a gang, in masks, hanging around further along surrey canal road, who i quickly cycled through the middle of. The other morning I spotted this paint, but didn't quite notice what it said. Now C4 is open (apart from the section in the middle, they have yet to build), I think I'll be using that more to get into London.

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the infamous grouse replied to a1white | 1 year ago
0 likes

if attacked, would discharging a CO2 canister in someone's face be legitimate self-defense? or a compressed air horn in their ear?

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chineseJohn replied to the infamous grouse | 1 year ago
2 likes

Self defence for sure

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GMBasix replied to the infamous grouse | 1 year ago
6 likes

the infamous grouse wrote:

if attacked, would discharging a CO2 canister in someone's face be legitimate self-defense? or a compressed air horn in their ear?

They would more likely be regarded as suicide.

I'm not sure if you're serious, or how you think they would work. If you are that close to a gang armed with knives the only two options are to leg it faster than they can, or to do exactly as they say.

https://youtu.be/kvlrnc7hlQI

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OldRidgeback replied to the infamous grouse | 1 year ago
5 likes

I wouldn't advise it. Either hand over the bike or pedal fast.

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