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Mugging in Honor Oak Park Saturday 14 January 2012
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mitchy999


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #1
15-01-2012 10:48 PM

I would like to warn people in the Honor Oak Park area following an incident which took place at 9.30pm last night (Saturday 14 January 2012). I had turned out of Ballina Road and was walking up Honor Oak Park towards the P4 bus stop opposite the train station - when I reached the zebra crossing near the train station I was attacked from behind by someone beating me over the head. I turned around and saw a lone male who continued to hit me in the face and over the head. I had been holding my mobile phone and at some point during the attack I dropped it - he then immediately grabbed the phone from the ground and ran off down Grierson Road. I started to run after him screaming "Stop him!" repeatedly. No one managed to stop him, but several residents of Grierson Road came out to help me (they were amazing) and I've since learned that some of them went off to search for him. The police were also very good - they arrived very quickly indeed, spent a lot of time with me and had officers immediately out and about looking for him - they're clearly taking it very seriously. Just a warning to everyone to be super aware and please, please do not walk around holding/using your mobile phones - I completely acknowledge it was foolish of me to be doing so, but it's a big reminder to us all. Stay safe folks.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #2
16-01-2012 12:30 AM

Hope you feel ok soon. I was mugged a couple of years ago in Clapham and it let me feeling pretty vulnerable about walking around on my own at night.

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mitchy999


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #3
16-01-2012 12:54 AM

Thank you. Last night I was just relieved it wasn't worse, but today now the adrenalin has gone and it's all sinking in I haven't been doing so good. Lots of tears, flashbacks and anxiety. Very anxious about going to work tomorrow and walking home from the station in the dark. I keep trying to tell myself I've lived here for 10 years and never experienced anything like this before, and that the guy was clearly just after my phone which was on view, but it's not helping at the moment. I'm sure this will improve with time.

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Tinkerbell


Posts: 356
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #4
16-01-2012 11:01 AM

mitchy999 - I'm very sorry to hear this, and to hear how much stress and anxiety it has caused you! I can only hope that you won't let it get you down for long. It's particularly frightening to think that whoever did this felt safe enough to carry out his attack quite early in the eve -at 9.30pm there would usually still be quite a few people out and about in HOP, going to the restaurants, HOP scotch etc. I often come home on one of the last trains and have so far always felt quite safe (it was actually one of the reasons why I decided to stay in the area), but I guess that's because quite a few people tend to get off the train and walk home, and it's less busy (and feels less safe) if you walk to the station or bus stop late at night between train times after 10.30.

Since there have been a few reported cases of muggings near the station in the last 12 months according to this forum (the last few were on the stretch that comes down from One Tree Hill towards the station, as far as I remember), I wonder if there is any CCTV in the area in front of the station and looking down HOP parade near the zebra crossing? If not, it might help if they could install some there, although it won't cure the problem.

Lovely to hear that HOP residents helped out though!

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Bangorben


Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2009
Post: #5
16-01-2012 01:52 PM

Really sorry to hear about this too it's awful when this sort of thing happens hope you're ok Micthy999.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that it's really badly lit in the streets where this mugging happened? The street lights are either broken, too spaced out or too dim. I'm not suggesting a better lit street would altogether stop this kind of crime but I think it definitely makes you feel safer as an individual when the street is better illuminated.

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Tersie


Posts: 272
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #6
16-01-2012 05:15 PM

Really sorry to hear about this Mitchy999, awful thing to happen. I really hope you feel better soon and that this guy can be caught. Sadly there is a lot of opportunist theft of mobile phones at the moment, esp due to the high value of new iphone etc. As you said this area is generally safe and things like this do not happen often. Thanks for posting and making us aware so we can be more vigilant to protect ourselves and help others who might be targeted.

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bebei


Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #7
16-01-2012 06:40 PM

Really sorry to hear about this Mitchy999. Having been through an attempted mugging in HOP last year, it affects you more than you would expect.

A year on and I'm still not that comfortable walking back from the station at night; crossing the street when I see anyone, phone on silent, no headphones.. etc. I guess you just have to think it is unlikely to happen to you again.

The walk home is getting a lot busier with new people moving in, the trains are always packed which makes you feel safer.

I do agree with someone else in this thread that the streets are poorly lit with lights spaced far apart.

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kelmscott


Posts: 18
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #8
16-01-2012 08:11 PM

Mitchy
Its best if you can to give a description of the mugger. IE about 18yrs old, about 5'9", heavily built, medium build or slim. Then dressed in casual clothes black or white, has an accent etc.

I know thats hard at the time but after I first got mugged I trained my mind to take a description. The second time I got mugged I gave the police a description and they soon caught him.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #9
17-01-2012 12:25 AM

I was exactly the same when I was mugged. Sp fired up with adrenaline I chased after the muggers that literally jumped on my back and forced me to the ground! The next day the shock kicked in and I was really tearful for a few days. Sad to hear that these types of incidents are occurring more frequently round here. Sounds like there needs to be some dialogue with the local police for sure about what can be done generally to improve safety in the area.

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Tersie


Posts: 272
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #10
17-01-2012 09:51 AM

I agree that the lighting in the side streets in HOP is poor. I did see recently that there is a 4 year council program to improve lighting in the borough. According to this information our ward (Crofton Park) will be in year two, which will be sometime between Aug 2012/2013. I hope this is not just replacement as a few more street lights in the HOP area would not go a miss! I will send an email and ask about plans and see what response I get.

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/tr...tions.aspx

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hoppit


Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #11
18-01-2012 12:42 AM

I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. I hope it doesn't cause you too much stress. In the past there have been the odd follow off from HOP train station but these appear to be rare.

It would help others if you could possibly give a rough age and description of your assailant and a direction of travel. I'm guessing heading towards Brockley or the Honor Oak Estate.

The Stone Bar and Hopscotch Cafe next door would have been fairly busy at that time. I wonder if anyone saw anything?

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mitchy999


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #12
18-01-2012 02:33 AM

I'm doing OK actually. I was brought up to get straight back into the saddle, which is exactly what I did despite all my anxiety and I'm so glad I did because I do feel so strong now... Description of the guy: One sole tall black male c6ft2, late 20s/30s, clean shaven, beanie hat, glasses, rucksack, respectable looking, doesn't look like mugger. He was clearly just after my phone, didn't attempt to get my bag. Please just keep your phones out of sight - I felt safe having lived here for 10 years, I'm still sure it's safe relatively speaking, I just want to pass on the message to be vigilant and don't walk around with your iphones/blackberries on view...

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mitchy999


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #13
18-01-2012 02:54 AM

As I said, it happened by the zebra crossing on Honor Oak Park close to the train station, approaching the P4 bus stop (right under the street lamp before the zebra crossing actually, ironically). I know on my approach to Honor Oak Park walking down Bovill/Ballina Roads there were people around so there must have been people on the main road at 9.30pm! Very brazen, very opportunistic. Fingers crossed, if we all keep our mobiles out of sight whilst on the move, we can so prevent this sort of crime...

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Tinkerbell


Posts: 356
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #14
18-01-2012 08:28 AM

Good to hear you are feeling better mitchy999!

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Fish Face


Posts: 135
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #15
18-01-2012 10:46 AM

Thanks for the street lighting info Tersie.

This is good to see as at night it feels like I'm walking around in Victorian times at the moment:

What types of lighting will be used?
The majority of the lighting across the boroughs is currently yellow/orange. The new lighting will be white and will give clearer illumination at night.

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Tinkerbell


Posts: 356
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #16
18-01-2012 12:13 PM

I agree, that orange lighting may look cosy, but is not effective at all.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
18-01-2012 12:38 PM

mitchy999: I'm sorry to hear about the mugging. I do hope you are ok.

I think that decent lighting may help but, crucially, in my view, this is more about third party visibility. CCTV may be part of the answer but there is no substitute for being in the public eye in this case.

One of the objections raised about the conversion of the Old Bank to a takeaway that I, and others including the Forest Hill Society, raised was that this would mean that this area was not overlooked in any way. A restaurant, on the other hand, could have had witnesses at least to this incident and may have acted as a deterrent too.

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TM2011


Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #18
20-01-2012 12:09 PM

Hey..

I'm not TM2011, I'm her sister. So.. I'll be LM2011 :-)

I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you!

I've just moved here, from Scotland, at New Year.

That is some scary stuff. So happy to hear you're alright, though terrified about going out again.. that's so understandable.

I'm quite nervous about being in London.. especially with stuff like this going on. But you said you've been here 10 years and nothing happened? Jings. A little old lady had her house barged into a week or so ago, who lives across from my sister (who I'm staying with). It's really scary.

I don't take my phone out when out, nor do I listen to music. But I suppose it's all about having your wits about you and just being careful, eh?

I hope you're ok and well.

Take care.

LM2011

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Fish Face


Posts: 135
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #19
20-01-2012 01:37 PM

Try and relax LM2011.

The vast majority of people don't experience this stuff, just the unlucky few and it can happen anywhere in the world.

Even in Scotland.

I know how you feel though, it would be lovely to walk the streets anytime of day or night without any sense of caution (so to speak).

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hoona


Posts: 201
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #20
20-01-2012 02:15 PM

Sorry to hear what happened to you Mitchy999. And I hope you feel better - and safe again - soon.
LM2011, I have to agree with Fish Face, though, that it's still a rare occurrence. I've lived in SE London all my life... Camberwell, East Dulwich, Brockley, Blackheath, Ladywell and now HOP and I've never once been mugged or had anything bad happen to me in 40years, despite hundreds of late nights home along dimly lit streets. Admittedly I've employed tactics, like not taking a handbag out and putting things in my pockets instead, walking down the middle of the street, keeping my keys, phone and wallet in separate places,not having anything of value on display, walking positively without showing fear etc.
As for the positives - I dropped my phone in HOP recently and someone kindly traced me by phoning my mum to find my address and give it back. I lost my wallet in Lewisham last week and had five people (all random shoppers) helping me look for it. I found it - it had been handed in without penny taken.
Of course there are some nasty people out there, but that's the case anywhere in the country. I tend to think these things go in cycles - the recession brings out the worst in people, as well as the best.
Yes, be careful, but don't let one or two incidences stop you from living your life!

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