Men robbed and beaten on towpath

Published: Wednesday, 09 August 2017

DURING just four days six men have been held up at knifepoint on the Lee towpath and not only robbed but beaten up.

A gang has been targeting men both on foot and on bikes on the towpath in Clapton by Lee Valley Marina, with five of six men accosted being robbed at knifepoint and beaten up by a gang of thugs.

Terrifying ordeal

Three of the men were on foot and three on bikes when they were stopped by the gang and subjected to a terrifying ordeal, all but one having their possessions stolen and then beaten up, with all but one being attacked.

The first time was last Tuesday when Ben Goodwin was cycling on the towpath by the Crescent Rowing Club and was approached by four black men on mountain bikes who had their faces covered by scarves and hoods on their heads. They blocked the towpath then searched him at the same time hitting him in the face then stole his phone and wallet, they then demanded his PIN number for his bank card threatening to stab him.

Second man stopped

It was only minutes later that a second man was stopped as he cycled along the towpath by High Hill Ferry, pushed off his bike and kicked and punched as he lay on the ground, again the robbers stealing a bank card, watch and other items. He sustained a leg injury in the attack, but managed to call for help with a passer by calling the emergency services. Again the attackers were described as black men.

The following day, Wednesday, again in the morning, three men walking along the towpath near Springfield Marina were stopped by obviously the same gang, once again described as black, were threatened with knifes, assaulted and relieved of their bank cards and phones, with one who refused having a big kitchen knife held to his throat until he gave up.

Fourth attack failed

There was the fourth attack when a cyclist on the towpath was stopped by the gang, but the attack failed as he managed to escape on his bike, and though the gang chased him on their mountain bikes he managed to get away, and report it to the police.

The once busy towpath is now virtually deserted, with the violent robberies having a drastic effect.

The gang is still at large, with the police warning anyone using it to remain vigilant and call them immediately if anything suspicious is seen, and under no account challenge the robbers as they will be armed, with Detective Inspector Paul Ridley stating:


“The brutality the robbers have used is very concerning, holding a knife to the throat of one of the terrified victims and subjecting others to violent attacks.

“The robbers appear to be targeting canal path users which provides rapid access and escape routes, particularly when using a cycle.

“If you have been the victim at the hands of these men and have not already informed us, please come forward. I would also like to appeal to the boating community in the area to inform my investigation team if they have any information."