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The East Dulwich Forum
Which pubs, bars, restaurants and take-aways do you avoid?
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messagewarning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ludoscotts 18 March, 2012 21:22

hi I just felt I had to warn people about the man I encountered on thursday and today.

On thursday I was in the little park on firemans alley up by the harvester pub. There was a young man hanging around in front of the flats next to the park, After I went in with the children he came in too and lent against the railings watching us. A few times he wandered close by but when I looked at him to see what he was doing he would pretend to be doing stretches. We were the only ones in there and I got the feeling he was just waiting for the opportunity for me to be distracted. When my friend arrived he walked away down firemans alley but then he came back up 5 mins later and came into the park again but this time started talking on the phone the whole time watching us but if we looked at him he would look away.
We left very quickly as it just all felt strange.

I didnt think any more about it until today. I had been for a meal with my family and we were walking home I needed to stop at a shop and my family walked on ahead of me slowly. As I was walking along lordship lane I saw the same man standing waiting for a bus at the upland road busstop. He saw me approaching and turned to look at me. I didnt make eye contact and just walked by after a min I glanced behind me and saw that he was following me along the road which is strange as he seemed that he had been waiting for a bus until I had walked past. My family has stood waiting for me to catch up with them so when I met them I started saying the man behind me is following me, he walked past and he must have realised we were talking about him as he looked back and when he saw my father looking at him he ran across the road and went down firemans alley. We walked along but when we passed the top of the alley there was no sign of him.

He hasnt done anything but twice he has managed to make me feel very uncomfortable and concerned especially as I have a toddler and a baby in a buggy. I really get the feeling he was waiting to take advantage of a distracted mum.

I just want people to be be aware in the park and keep your eyes open.

He was early to mid twenties. He was asian looking. Dark short hair. around 5'6 id guess. On thursday he had on a brown leather jacket. Today he had on light coloured trousers and a black t-shirt.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ClareC 18 March, 2012 21:35

Sounds creepy, thanks for the warning. We often use that playground.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by boxboyuk 18 March, 2012 21:41

bloody hell, somethings very dodgy there!..i would report it to the police anyway, even if its just to do a stop and search or something..something just to make him feel uneasy...also i would probaly invest in a attack alarm..or a whisle..just something light and loud you can carry about with you...he is probaly the local space cadet but better to be safe! hope its the last you see of him!

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by TheWinglessBird 18 March, 2012 21:41

Hi Ludoscotts,

very creepy indeed.

Have you thought about contacting the police on their non emergency number? It's definitely worth reporting.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by boxboyuk 18 March, 2012 21:50

Iv also been told the police give out attack alarms for free, im not 100% sure thay do but friend of mine seems sure thay do so i would pop in and grab one ladys and gents! very handy to keep in your bag/man-bag etc!

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ClareC 18 March, 2012 22:01

ED Safer Neighbourhood Team do give out the alarms, subject to availability.

Def report to the police!

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Thomas Micklewright 18 March, 2012 22:08

Yep report to police and everyone will keep their eyes out Tom

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ludoscotts 18 March, 2012 22:20

hi yes im going to pop into the police station tomorrow and talk to them about it. thanks everyone, just wanted others to be aware. leanne

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by DulwichFox 18 March, 2012 22:51

stiffleruk22 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Iv also been told the police give out attack
> alarms for free, im not 100% sure thay do but
> friend of mine seems sure thay do so i would pop
> in and grab one ladys and gents! very handy to
> keep in your bag/man-bag etc!


Yes They do give out alarms for free.

I was given one at Surrey Quays but the bloody thing did not work.

Being an engineer I took mine apart to find the internal battery contacts were brocken.
I managed to cement them back in place and got it to work.. but again the switch is very
tempramental.. I would not rely on it.

Made in China.. they really are poorly constructed.

You can buy more reliable ones for a few pounds elsewhere..

Fox

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by JohnL 19 March, 2012 08:17

My colleague once warned someone like this severely, and it turned out to be a PI hired by an ex, who
promptly sued him.

Call the police whatever if you're being followed. Don't confront.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ClareC 19 March, 2012 09:50

Sued him for what?

Definitely go to police! Let us know what they police are planning to do (if anything).

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Louisa 19 March, 2012 09:51

I am sick of people (women especially) being made to feel threatened or uneasy in their neighbourhood. How dare anyone make someone feel this way. I really hope that these two incidents are reported to the police and I shall remain vigilant as ever. I've been followed once or twice but I always make a point of being very vocal and confrontational so as to make them realise I won't be messed with - fortunately this hasn't happened to me in the ED earlier, more often than not Peckham surprise surprise, but wherever it happens and however minor you think it is please report it to the non-emergency number.

Louisa.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ludoscotts 19 March, 2012 10:17

HI i have been contacted by a member of the park staff and apparently there have been other reports of the man hanging around and they had police patrolling in the park in the park on Friday because of him. They will keep an eye on Firemans Alley now too. I'm going to contact the police today to let them know about it too. Will let you know if I hear any more.

leanne

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by JohnL 19 March, 2012 10:24

ClareC Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sued him for what?
>

He had a confrontation in a Welsh Valleys macho type way if you know what I mean smiling smiley Never confront them IMHO - I've been followed and it's tempting to do do, but never do, it can end badly.

This sounds like something else now though.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ludoscotts 19 March, 2012 10:29

hi ive spoken to the police and they have taken down all of the details, they are going to circulate the info to all units patrolling near the park and if I spot him again I have to phone them.

be safe everyone leanne

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by mfcjoe 19 March, 2012 17:41

So someone looked at you a few times and you felt threatened, what is wrong with the residents of Dulwich, the old bill must love you lot talk about waste of police time. Did this man even say anything to you?

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Damian H 19 March, 2012 17:46

mfcjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So someone looked at you a few times and you felt
> threatened, what is wrong with the residents of
> Dulwich, the old bill must love you lot talk about
> waste of police time. Did this man even say
> anything to you?

I think the OP has reported a lot more than someone just looking at her. If this is an attempt at a troll it is on a rather tasteless subject.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by mfcjoe 19 March, 2012 18:13

So Damien, where does it say that he done anything other than look at the OP, oh yeah ,she bumped into him a few days later, she may well have freaked him out.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by jelly 19 March, 2012 18:19

I haven't seen any young men who are exhibiting such a concerning pattern of behaviour, and I live quite close to the area in question. Seems like he could be one of our local care in the community cases. The lack of physical despreiption is a bit odd as well. What does he look like: what kind of clothes was he wearing, what colour is he, was he short, tall, fat or thin? Pretty basic stuff you'd expect from someone who seems so keen on warning everyone about this possible threat.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by jelly 19 March, 2012 18:21

Sorry, disregard the last of my previous post. Wasn't paying enough attention. embarrased smiley

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ken78 19 March, 2012 18:55

mfcjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So someone looked at you a few times and you felt
> threatened, what is wrong with the residents of
> Dulwich, the old bill must love you lot talk about
> waste of police time. Did this man even say
> anything to you?


better to be safe than sorry dont you think?

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Marie81 19 March, 2012 20:34

Mfcjoe: how rude of you to treat the OP as if she is over reacting, you weren’t there…he wasn’t just staring at her, he followed her and ran off at one point! Doesn’t that seem suspicious to you?!

The same thing has happened to me three times in the last year in the park whilst walking my dog. On the third occasion when the man was following me luckily the police were in the café so I text my partner to go get them as he was at the other end of the park walking our other dog, the man saw them approaching and rode off on his bike. The police gave chase on foot but lost him! They suspected he was armed and later found the bike he abandoned down a side road. I am not easily intimidated and have no problem asking someone what their problem is but this man was tall and built like a heavyweight boxer and when I would walk up to the nearest person I could find in the park and pretend I knew them so he couldn’t get me alone and walk with them he would just stop and stare watching me walk away but would still follow me but keeping his distance. He was always waiting for me to be on my own. He was seen hanging about on another couple of occasions in the park and was also reported for intimidating other woman but as the police said to me they can only stop to ask him for questioning nothing else until he actually causes physical harm!!

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by jelly 19 March, 2012 21:05

As far as I'm aware the police aren't in a habit of informing those who've alerted them of their suspicions with regards to a potential suspect to avoid inducing undue hysteria. It must have been a fairly extreme case for them to say that they suspected him of being in possesion of a weapon, seeing as they hadn't apprehended him and thus wouldn't have been able to reference any data relating to any previous he may have had. Rather a bizarre thing of them to do if I'm honest.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Damian H 19 March, 2012 21:06

mfcjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So Damien, where does it say that he done anything
> other than look at the OP, oh yeah ,she bumped
> into him a few days later, she may well have
> freaked him out.

I think you will see if you re-read the OP that he also seems to have followed her down the road when she next encountered him and when he was noticed by the OP's father he ran off down an alley. Not really what I would say was consistent with normal behaviour.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Marie81 19 March, 2012 21:37

jelly: No problem I didn't want to go into too much detail but there it a lot more to the story. Anyway I was standing next to another olice officer when he called in on the roadio to the patrol car that went out looking for the man who had been following me and he said 'suspect may be armed' this was because we saw him untuck his shirt put something into his back pocket and then leave his shirt hanging out before making a dash for it out the park.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ludoscotts 19 March, 2012 21:42

mfcjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So Damien, where does it say that he done anything
> other than look at the OP, oh yeah ,she bumped
> into him a few days later, she may well have
> freaked him out.


hi mfcjoe, im not going to get into a debate with you on this matter but whats your problem?
Would you come and stand in a childrens play area on your own without any children and stare at a woman with young children then follow them down the road and run off if she had noticed you had followed her?

I am not paranoid, the police and park wardens are aware of the man as they had other reports from other women on friday so he is obviously freaking out a lot of people.

If I had not said anything and Id heard that someone had been attacked Id never forgive myself, I wanted other women to be aware there is someone odd hanging around.

I use that alley everyday to take and collect my daughter from nursery I pass men jogging and walking down there all the time and have never felt threatened or worried before by anyone but this man shook me up, his behaviour was not normal.

I really think you should think about your comments before posting.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ClareC 19 March, 2012 22:03

Ludoscotts,

You do not come across as paranoid, it's good you have posted.

The chap was clearly acting suspiciously, as verified by the park staff and police! You were right to be concerned and I for one am grateful you have posted. I too use that park with my toddler and baby and his behaviour would have freaked me out too. To have that happen when alone would be scary, when with your two small children even worse as you are in a far more vulnerable position.

Pay no attention to mfcjoe, at best s/he is a troll, at worst an insensitive, totally inappropriate piece of work looking for a reaction, best ignored!

Hope your ok. I have one of those alarms, your welcome to have if you haven't managed to get one.

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by ludoscotts 19 March, 2012 22:09

hi clarec, thanks for your post.

I do find it interesting that mfcjoe has only ever posted about this incident!

I havent looked into getting an alarm going to go and look into it now

leanne

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Fuschia 20 March, 2012 06:48

Leanne, ignore the other poster, you have done the right thing x

messageRe: warning-strange man hanging around in childrens playground.
Posted by Renata Hamvas 20 March, 2012 08:02

Leane, it was the right thing for you to report this incident to the police.
Renata

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