THE robberies on the towpath in Hackney Wick on the Lee Navigation are getting so bad that the police have been called to step up patrols.
Boaters are afraid to leave their boats, it being virtually 'lock down' after gangs have been assaulting them or threatening them at knife-point before stealing their belongings, Roger Fox reports.
Threatening with knives
For months now gangs on bikes are threatening anyone on the towpath with knives, but when the police arrive after being called, the gangs are long gone.
To rob cyclists, there have been instances of robbers stretching ropes across the towpath, that either stops the cyclists or should they not see the rope, fetches them off, with the gang then pouncing.
Lack of police resources
The Evening Standard reported that officers are being 'blasé' about the number of alleged attacks with boaters and local residents hitting out at the lack of police resources, with people reporting the robberies telling that the police are too slow in reacting, having first to call for back-up, so when they get there the robbers are gone.
The robberies are also reported on the towpath and at Victoria Park by the Hertford Canal, that joins the Lee Navigation at Hackney Wick.
More than 10 cases
More than 10 cases of muggings have been reported, with it at such a state that people, especially those resident boaters by the towpath, fear for their safety.
Gangs have been reported by victims as being on BMX bikes or mopeds, approaching them during both day or night. assaulting and robbing them then fleeing.
Police Sergeant, Luke Clarke, tells he and his team had increased patrols in their area as well as extending patrols around the canals, and advises people not to walk with their phones out.
One boater, Seth Elton, told the Evening Standard that people are not going out at night because they are too scared to because of the increased threat of being robbed.