Women Joggers in Greenwich Park

Folks, Renae has just sent me this, which I post in its entirety:

“I wanted to relay something that happened to me yesterday while running in the park.

I had been running alone for about half an hour and had come to a walk to cool down. I was walking across the grassed area by the children’s playground and had my headphones in to listen to some music. All of a sudden two teenage boys appeared beside me on bikes dressed in the usual street gear but they also had their faces covered with bandanas. I couldn’t hear what they were saying so I took my head phones out then they said something else that was muffled by their masks. They made a move towards me with one going to cut my path off with his bike so I just listened to my gut and ran away as fast as I could towards the nearest person I could see. When I started running they yelled after me asking me why I was running. Luckily there was a dog walker nearby that saw me and I think discouraged them from pursuing me but I kept running until I was outside the park gates. I reported the incident to the police who said they would try to get to the park with in the hour.

I may have read the situation incorrectly but the fact that they had their faces covered made me immediately terrified. I thought I should let you know so you can remind everyone, particularly women to be careful when running alone and to keep the volume down if they are listening to music so they can hear what is going on around them. I was shocked as I hadn’t seen these two anywhere around me.”

So – maybe it was isolated, maybe these kids were just having fun intimdating lone women and not realising how scary that can be (teenagers aren’t well known for forethought in this sort of thing), but I thought you should know. Take care. And maybe lay off the headphones for a while, eh…

21 Comments to “Women Joggers in Greenwich Park”

  1. Brenda says:

    An odd one. Why did they ask why she was running when they were clearly intimidating her? Fortunately the Park is often full of people so hopefully no one is ever far away to shout out for help and helped thats she’s a good runner!

    My friend text me from the park last week to say she had had her sandals stolen while she was at the boating lake with her kids. They werent far away from where she was standing. Being slightly evil I found it funny the thought of her walking barefoot back to her car.
    Tho driving home might have been a bit annoying.

  2. scared of chives says:

    Yesterday in Columb Street two 20-somethings walked past both with pit-bull type dogs trying to look ‘hard’ and intimidating (didn’t work btw – just looked stupid).

    I keep saying it – East Greenwich is deteriorating by the week. Perhaps time to move out.

  3. LGM says:

    This information is applicable to both sexes: I doubt gangs of yoof will care if it’s a woman or man.

    No doubt they all spend hours in front of their game stations, smoking and getting no exercise: run faster joggers of Greenwich and lose the not-so-boy-racers.

  4. Stephen aka. Latelygay says:

    Very sorry to hear about Renae’s scary moment. Clearly these guys had malign intentions.

    I hope you don’t mind my commenting on the trend for listening to music by the likes of the joggers and cyclists. I especially become concerned when people are traversing busy streets and junctions.

    It just strikes me as potentially dangerous to impede so crucial a sensory organ and I’m not convinced that people are switched on to their surroundings.

  5. Big D says:

    I share SOC’s thoughts and think East Greenwich is deteriorating. My wife has twice been in an incident (can’t go into any further details as it is an open case with the police) at the bus stop outside Ginza Japanese resturant. Both times occured at 7.15am in broad daylight. Luckily she is fine but a little shaken up. I know that these things can happen anywhere at any time but we do seem to be hearing more and more about such matters.

  6. Kratch says:

    There are sometimes boys with bandanas late at night outside the Woodlands Park Road exit to Maze Hill train station. I have to agree with Renae: why are they hiding their faces if they mean well?
    A friend of mine had her bag nicked by a boy on a bike while walking along the little pathway by the side of the swings and slides. It was a bright summer’s day, there were people everywhere, but stil… She was new to London and was carrying her bag in her hand (unlike how my mum always showed me to wear mine: across my body if possible, but at the very least under my arm where it can’t be grabbed without a bit of a struggle). I think it’s wise to be cautious: Greenwich Park often gives the impression it’s super-safe, but it’s worth being careful wherever you are. Scared of chives: I don’t think Greenwich is any different to anywhere else in London. You just have to watch your step in urban areas. Hasn’t it always been like that (Hogarth, Dickens etc).

  7. Julie70 says:

    I live very near the park and until now I would not think to be afraid, nor around my place at night. But it is enough some or one nasty one…

    Tonight there is a meeting at St. John’s Church in Blackheath, near Royal Standard, on St John’s Park, where policemen will come to speak to us about security.

    Will you be there?

    It begins at 19 30

    I have never been yet, and for sure, I will go and learn something. It would be also great to meet perhaps, or at least hear your opinion of it.

  8. scared of chives says:


    There’s a danger one can sound a bit like Victor Meldrew when it comes to commenting on one’s neighbourhood – but I’m basing my previous comment on the fact that, having lived in Greenwich since 1987 (a rough split between east and west), I’ve noticed things changing over the last year or two.

    More rubbish, dumping, aggressive behaviour, people hanging around (at least looking like) they’re up to no good, closing down shops, shops getting worse (with the odd exception), broken-into cars…a short while ago, a car ‘exploded’ in Dinsdale Road – apparently having been set alight by a bunch of troublemakers in the road.

    Yes, all parts of London have their problems but in my view – East Greenwich is a worse place to live now than, say, at the millennium. Trafalgar Road is simply vile most of the time.

  9. Dave says:

    The East Greenwich that SOC describes is not the one that I recognise.

    I walk up and down Trafalgar Road several times a week , mornings and evenings and have seen nothing untoward.

    As for shops being closed , this is surely a sign of the economic times.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I live in the east end of East Greenwich, but spend most of my free time wandering and exploring all over the Borough. While Trafalgar and Woolwich Road leave a lot to be desired in aesthetic terms, as a young female I have never felt anything but safe walking around.

    I do regret, however, the number of fast-food establishments, dodgy looking pubs and derelict buildings in the area. A fashion which now seems to be spreading rapidly into the town centre. Walking through yesterday, I noted more establishments closed down since a fortnight ago around the market.

    So, while I still feel safe in the area, even its less nice parts, I do worry for its future.

  11. Stephen aka. Latelygay says:


    Not so, IMHO. The monopoly afforded to our huge supermarket groups are the very things that have killed our high streets.

    There was no shortage of evidence for decline of Trafalgar Road previous to the Crash.

    Now comes the ‘easy to say’ bit, if our police stopped tearing up and down our streets at such great speed and lights/sirens ablaze perhaps they might actually cotton on to these bandana clad youths. Ne c’est pas?

  12. WG says:

    On a related subject, I heard there have been a spate of burglaries in the West Greenwich area. Might be prudent to keep the back doors locked when summer days return.

  13. Steve says:

    The anti-social/criminal side of life, from major street crime to fly-tippers, is down to a tiny minority. We’re talking single figures % of the population.

    Think about how many thousands of people you pass by in an average day and then count how often you see evidence of bad behaviour. Once or twice a day?

    How many people are in Greenwich Park on a sunny weekend afternoon? How many are genuinely being anti-social/criminal rather than merely acting a bit chavvy?

    Sadly, such incidents stand out as they are highly visible and tend to stick in the memory, each new memory snowballing with all others and dragging down our morale.

    Having recently returned from a visit to New York, busy Trafalgar Road with it’s tatty shops reminds me a lot of 3rd Avenue (at street level anyway!). I doubt many Manhattanites consider that area run-down.

    However, the festering crime hot-spot that is Woodlands Park Road between the Vanbrugh Hull bridge and Maze Hill station entrance, past all the litter on both sides of the fence, the fly-tipped house fittings (a complete toilet turned up on the pavement a few weeks back) and the broken glass from multiple car break-ins badly needs sorting! Is that street ever cleaned and why isn’t there a CCTV fitted here?

  14. will says:

    What Steve said, particularly on Woodlands Park Road, but also recognising that it’s a minority.

    That said, the amount of car break-ins there is appalling – pretty much every night it looks like. I guess people only park there when they have no choice. We are probably all paying for it in higher car insurance.

  15. nearlynice says:

    Good point re West Greenwich.

    There has recently been a spate of burglaries at the park end of King George St (basement/ground floor windows forced) and similar on Royal Hill over the last fortnight.

  16. Mr Dinsdale says:

    Please don’t use the car “exploding” in Dinsdale Road side by side with threatening behaviour to a lone jogger in the park or a general decline in the neighbourhood.

  17. Hitherqueen says:

    The police would try to get somebody there in an hour? what’s the use in that? And what about the park police who reside at the other end of the park? All they actually seem to do is sit in their cars in quiet corners of the park and are never in evidence when the park is busy with gangs of teenagers from John Roan and people using bbqs.

    Blimey – I feel like I’ve been taken over by the Daily Mail! Must get a Guardian to fan myself with!

  18. scared of chives says:

    Mr Dinsdale – don’t you think the nice people that set the car alight in Dinsdale Road would also take pleasure from making other people feel uncomfortable when it suited them?

  19. Mr Dinsdale says:

    SOC – I can’t pretend to understand what goes through my “nice” neighbours heads but do they make me want to move from what is a great street with lovely neighbours? No. Should the our local MP, council and police sort them out? Yes.

  20. MsW says:

    Do be careful around Woodlands Road. My husband was leaving the Arches last Friday evening around 7pm and there were a group of hoodies hanging around who suddenly started to follow him. He overhead one of them muttering that “we could have him” in the sense of beating him up. Luckily for whatever reason they stopped following him but it looks like they just wanted to find somebody to duff up for the fun of it.

  21. d3xta says:

    We’ve recently moved to East Greenwich from Woolwich Arsenal.

    In our opinion its infinitely better for my wife and I, and our young children, but whilst reading the above posts it occured to me to ask – what are people doing to help the situation?

    Its easy to point the finger at the degradation of an area and comment on how terrible it is, but if you are not helping sort it out you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    How many voluntary housing groups and/or tenants associations exist around here? In our old area these types of organisations helped to improve things a great deal and if things are going south here (and I am not saying they are) they could only help.