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messageMan alone in Dulwich park playground (Lounged)
Posted by fleothecat January 29, 07:53PM

Was at dulwich park playground today and saw a man just standing alone near the swings within the playground but without a child. He didn't seem to be with any family group and i was there long enough to see that. I was with my baby and didn't feel confident questioning him, although i now regret that.

I know it seems over the top but i felt uncomfortable so just wanted to let people know - probably late 20s,white,glasses,short hair, dark clothes.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by se22cat January 29, 08:19PM

Maybe he was unwell? Under a huge amount of stress & needed a while to just stop? Perhaps he was suffering from depression & not processing things "normally", maybe he'd suffered a loss, ever consider those possibilities?

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by fleothecat January 29, 08:39PM

None of that would explain why someone without a child was walking through the childrens playground rather than along the path outside.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by sunbob January 29, 08:45PM

Is it possible his child could have been far off in the playground? Mine go quite far without me now they are bigger.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by Sue January 29, 09:12PM

Thank you for flagging this up.

I had a similar experience at the playground in Brockwell Park when my grandchildren were small, although this was an older man sitting alone, clearly without a child attached, who appeared to be taking pictures on an iPad, which he had hidden in a carrier bag.

There was more to it than that, but I still sometimes think about it and wish I had done something about it.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by jimlad48 January 29, 10:42PM

So I'm going to be a bit harsh here and say that frankly I don't see what the problem is.

Has he broken any laws?
Was he filming anyone?
Was he touching himself in a way that implied he was trying to arouse himself?
Did he do anything that would be illegal in the eyes of the law?

If the answer is no, then what you've essentially just done is all but outright call someone a paedophile for the crime of standing in a park without children around. Do you understand the seriousness of this sort of allegation, or do you think that now 'because I've got a baby' you've got the right to post outrageous threads actively questioning someones innocent behaviour just because it doesnt conform to your personal view of the world?

If you weren't prepared to confront, and you weren't prepared to call the police, then how dare you feel you can go online behind the safety of an anonymous handle and essentially accuse someone of being a pervert with zero evidence other than your view of the world? More to the point, what business is it of yours if he is standing there? If there is no law forbidding it, and no regulation preventing it, then he has every right in the world to stand there.

And before you get 'oh but the Children' try asking yourself how you would feel if when your baby is a little older, your partner took it to the park and it went wandering leaving him temporarily alone, and you logged on here, you discovered that someone had put a post up accusing your partner of being a paedophile? Thats exactly what you've done here - made the gravest possible allegation by implication without a shred of evidence to back it up.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by KidKruger January 29, 10:50PM

Jeez I’m gobsmacked that an adult in a playground without a child accompanying is automatically under suspicion as a pervert.
OMFG

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by Chick January 30, 12:59AM

This is a good one. Jeez.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was january 30, 01:00am by Chick.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by alice January 30, 02:16AM

My adult brother got punched in the head while sitting on a nostalgic swing in a park.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by Upwind January 30, 02:57AM

jimlad48 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So I'm going to be a bit harsh here and say that
> frankly I don't see what the problem is.
>
> Has he broken any laws?
> Was he filming anyone?
> Was he touching himself in a way that implied he
> was trying to arouse himself?
> Did he do anything that would be illegal in the
> eyes of the law?
>
> If the answer is no, then what you've essentially
> just done is all but outright call someone a
> paedophile for the crime of standing in a park
> without children around. Do you understand the
> seriousness of this sort of allegation, or do you
> think that now 'because I've got a baby' you've
> got the right to post outrageous threads actively
> questioning someones innocent behaviour just
> because it doesnt conform to your personal view of
> the world?
>
> If you weren't prepared to confront, and you
> weren't prepared to call the police, then how dare
> you feel you can go online behind the safety of an
> anonymous handle and essentially accuse someone of
> being a pervert with zero evidence other than your
> view of the world? More to the point, what
> business is it of yours if he is standing there?
> If there is no law forbidding it, and no
> regulation preventing it, then he has every right
> in the world to stand there.
>
> And before you get 'oh but the Children' try
> asking yourself how you would feel if when your
> baby is a little older, your partner took it to
> the park and it went wandering leaving him
> temporarily alone, and you logged on here, you
> discovered that someone had put a post up accusing
> your partner of being a paedophile? Thats exactly
> what you've done here - made the gravest possible
> allegation by implication without a shred of
> evidence to back it up.

Park byelaws state that adults are only allowed in the playground when accompanied by a child. It should say that clearly on the playground gates too.
I can't quite understand the outrage at the OPs post when they were just highlighting what could have been an issue without making any accusations. Having read through the subsequent posts, I am probably more concerned about some of you lot than the fella in the playground!!

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by macutd January 30, 07:14AM

this is a really difficult situation and I feel very cautious about writing anything. But it seems very sad that an adult is seen as a pervert if they are standing near children playing.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by JohnL January 30, 10:01AM

Single Men sometimes are seen as a bit dodgy when they aren't (I've been refused entry to bars as I'm alone - no singles allowed).

Then again you get dodgy ones around too so you can only go on intuition and observation.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by EDBoost January 30, 10:13AM

Hi, I see the point of OP but have to agree with Jimlad48.

As a male (and father)i find myself to get really self-conscious when i'm around young kids when by myself (not that it happens often) or around a playground, even when i'm going to pick up my son from nursery... and it really annoys me!

Of course we have to be vigilant and aware, you did the right thing and observed him, but he did nothing! You don't know why he's there and posting about it with his description in a public forum is so bad on many levels.

Please be aware of your actions and ensure you get facts before you make any judgement.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by jimlad48 January 30, 10:18AM

I am depressed at the attitude that single male = problem.

I’m a childless male and occasionally meet my friends and their children, or my godchildren at the park. If I arrive early and have to wait a few minutes for them on my own, does that make me suspicious?

I have friends who are stay at home Dads. If they go to the park and their kid runs off, while they wait for them, does that make them suspicious?

I know people with learning challenges who are lovely people but may happily stand by the park minding their own business. Are they suspicious too?

What makes me so cross here is that we assume single male = paedophile. We’d never say the same about a single woman, and I am 100% certain that a woman standing on their own in the park wouldn’t have aroused any suspicions or threads on EDF at all.

You may not like the fact that he was there, but if he wasn’t breaking the law, and you weren’t prepared to call Police/Council or even appropriately challenge him, then that should have been a steer to not raise it here. People have committed suicide over false paedophile claims, and yet here you are describing someone who has, on the surface, done nothing wrong and where no evidence exists of wrongdoing, and effectively slandered them.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by yeknomyeknom January 30, 10:35AM

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was january 30, 10:46am by yeknomyeknom.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by pk January 30, 11:31AM

as a parent, I think that it is right to be cautious of people hanging around a playground without children (in breach of bye laws)

as I would advise caution if someone is e.g. hanging around a toilet block (or in a toilet block!) without any apparent reason

to suggest that someone has been slanderously identified as a paedo is stupidly OTT and to criticise someone for not phoning the police or 'appropriately challenging' him is obvs BS

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by KidKruger January 30, 11:40AM

So, pk decides to weigh-in with insults, completely unprovoked.
Class.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by Penguin68 January 30, 11:41AM

Remember that people can lose touch with (through e.g. divorce) or actually lose children or grandchildren and can be comforted by seeing others around them. Clearly some vigilance may be required, but to assume that all lone adults are necessarily going to be predators is a jump too far. Most assaults (I believe) are from people related to or previously known to the children concerned (often in positions of authority) - 'stranger danger' is certainly a thing, but not the primary type of molestation.

Additionally it should be remembered that some adults (by age) may be suffering from developmental issues which mean that they are far closer to children in attitudes or thoughts than their appearances would suggest. Previously in institutions they are now more likely to be 'in the community' where they have sufficient ability to live only lightly supervised.

Wariness is fine, in these circumstances, but be cautious of paranoia.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by pk January 30, 11:43AM

KidKruger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, pk decides to weigh-in with insults,
> completely unprovoked.
> Class.


where are the insults?

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by jimlad48 January 30, 11:43AM

pk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> as a parent, I think that it is right to be
> cautious of people hanging around a playground
> without children (in breach of bye laws)
>
> as I would advise caution if someone is e.g.
> hanging around a toilet block (or in a toilet
> block!) without any apparent reason
>
> to suggest that someone has been slanderously
> identified as a paedo is stupidly OTT and to
> criticise someone for not phoning the police or
> 'appropriately challenging' him is obvs BS


The fact is that you wouldnt do this for a woman. There are plenty of very innocuous reasons to be at the site by yourself. The OP wasn't prepared to take action, but was prepared to post without a shred of evidence a post that strongly hinted at dodgy behaviour for the crime of standing by oneself. It was utterly clear what they were hinting at.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by JohnL January 30, 11:45AM

pk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> as I would advise caution if someone is e.g.
> hanging around a toilet block (or in a toilet
> block!) without any apparent reason

Not paedophila though - this would be a gay male thing back in the time we had public toilets - wasn't it called cottaging. Not condoning mind but there's a difference.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by pk January 30, 11:45AM

Penguin68 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> to assume that all lone adults are
> necessarily going to be predators is a jump too
> far.

is anyone actually doing this?

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by pk January 30, 12:00PM

JohnL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> pk Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > as I would advise caution if someone is e.g.
> > hanging around a toilet block (or in a toilet
> > block!) without any apparent reason
>
> Not paedophila though - this would be a gay male
> thing back in the time we had public toilets -
> wasn't it called cottaging. Not condoning mind
> but there's a difference.


did I say anything about paedophilia? I just said I'd advise caution

you on the other hand seem to be able to take comfort that someone hanging around the toilets is always a harmless gay male looking for easy sex

not sure how that would work if e.g. it was the ladies toilet?

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by pk January 30, 12:17PM

jimlad48 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The OP wasn't prepared to
> take action, but was prepared to post without a
> shred of evidence a post that strongly hinted at
> dodgy behaviour for the crime of standing by
> oneself. It was utterly clear what they were
> hinting at.

the OP said:

"I was with my baby and didn't feel confident questioning him, although i now regret that"

"I know it seems over the top but i felt uncomfortable"

you're all for coming up with reasons that some one might hang out in a play area in breach of the bye laws, but you're not prepared to come up with any reasons why a parent of a baby might be uncomfortable or lack confidence?

that's odd to me

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by jimlad48 January 30, 12:28PM

pk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jimlad48 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The OP wasn't prepared to
> > take action, but was prepared to post without a
> > shred of evidence a post that strongly hinted
> at
> > dodgy behaviour for the crime of standing by
> > oneself. It was utterly clear what they were
> > hinting at.
>
> the OP said:
>
> "I was with my baby and didn't feel confident
> questioning him, although i now regret that"
>
> "I know it seems over the top but i felt
> uncomfortable"
>
> you're all for coming up with reasons that some
> one might hang out in a play area in breach of the
> bye laws, but you're not prepared to come up with
> any reasons why a parent of a baby might be
> uncomfortable or lack confidence?
>
> that's odd to me


Simple - the parent could have rung the police then, or on their return. If its that serious then do something about it - don't just log onto EDF and cast aspersions on another person minding their own business.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by JohnL January 30, 12:30PM

pk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> did I say anything about paedophilia? I just said
> I'd advise caution

Cautions always OK - anyway public conveniences don't really exist anymore - certainly not in the unregulated way they did back in those days.

Edit: in the ideal world the childrens park area would have an attendant, but with 5% more cuts incoming that will hit on local authorities I guess that won't be happening.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was january 30, 12:38pm by JohnL.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by DuncanW January 30, 12:46PM

Those that counsel caution against assuming a lone man in a is a threat to children, make a valid point. And the tone of the OP would suggest he or she is well aware of that.

But I have to be honest, the string of potential justifications why a lone man could be hanging around in a kids' play park are completely beyond me. There is a law against that and anyone who is flouting that is rightly a cause for concern.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by pk January 30, 12:57PM

jimlad48 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> pk Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > jimlad48 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > The OP wasn't prepared to
> > > take action, but was prepared to post without
> a
> > > shred of evidence a post that strongly hinted
> > at
> > > dodgy behaviour for the crime of standing by
> > > oneself. It was utterly clear what they were
> > > hinting at.
> >
> > the OP said:
> >
> > "I was with my baby and didn't feel confident
> > questioning him, although i now regret that"
> >
> > "I know it seems over the top but i felt
> > uncomfortable"
> >
> > you're all for coming up with reasons that some
> > one might hang out in a play area in breach of
> the
> > bye laws, but you're not prepared to come up
> with
> > any reasons why a parent of a baby might be
> > uncomfortable or lack confidence?
> >
> > that's odd to me
>
>
> Simple - the parent could have rung the police
> then, or on their return. If its that serious then
> do something about it - don't just log onto EDF
> and cast aspersions on another person minding
> their own business.

so you know the identity of the other person?

and that they were just minding their business?

I guess you do as you're accusing someone of slander (wrongly)

I read it for what it said, a parent feeling uncomfortable

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by jimlad48 January 30, 01:18PM

pk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jimlad48 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > pk Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > jimlad48 Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > The OP wasn't prepared to
> > > > take action, but was prepared to post
> without
> > a
> > > > shred of evidence a post that strongly
> hinted
> > > at
> > > > dodgy behaviour for the crime of standing
> by
> > > > oneself. It was utterly clear what they
> were
> > > > hinting at.
> > >
> > > the OP said:
> > >
> > > "I was with my baby and didn't feel confident
> > > questioning him, although i now regret that"
> > >
> > > "I know it seems over the top but i felt
> > > uncomfortable"
> > >
> > > you're all for coming up with reasons that
> some
> > > one might hang out in a play area in breach
> of
> > the
> > > bye laws, but you're not prepared to come up
> > with
> > > any reasons why a parent of a baby might be
> > > uncomfortable or lack confidence?
> > >
> > > that's odd to me
> >
> >
> > Simple - the parent could have rung the police
> > then, or on their return. If its that serious
> then
> > do something about it - don't just log onto EDF
> > and cast aspersions on another person minding
> > their own business.
>
> so you know the identity of the other person?
>
> and that they were just minding their business?
>
> I guess you do as you're accusing someone of
> slander (wrongly)
>
> I read it for what it said, a parent feeling
> uncomfortable

I don't know the other person. I do though feel that there was a range of options open to the OP that could safely and approriately handled the situation and got trained professionals to assess the risks and take action.

Posting 'something doesnt feel right' around a person, on the face of it, doing nothing other than minding their own business is a totally innapropriate response. As noted in my original posts, there would be indicators that would absolutely warrant concern (and a 999 call), but as none of these seem to have happened, this just seems to be a case of blatantly sexist discrimination against someone who has done nothing wrong and is now being described on the internet in the language that strongly implies they are a pervert. If I recognised myself in that description and knew I'd been present for innocent reasons, I would be taking legal advice now with a view to suing.

messageRe: Man alone in Dulwich park playground
Posted by tallulah71 January 30, 01:49PM

Even calling the police seems a bit far-fetched. Why not go to the office and report it if you really had concerns. As fr as the bye-law goes, I was unaware of that; is it on a sign somewhere?

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