please empty your brain below

If you know what you're talking about because you use the Greenway yourself, please start your comment with three stars ***
I don't use it myself, but as an indicator QMUL students were sent out an email before Christmas advising against travel on the Greenway due to reported student muggings.
The same problem occurs along the Lea, which is also a new(ish)ly-designated cycle route (Quietway 2), and which sees multiple reports of muggings each winter and similar police advice . The stretch of road at the bottom of Springfield Park appears to be particularly problematic. See, for example, here.

One perspective is that the underlying problem is routing people cycling (and to a lesser extent, walking) along deserted routes, in preference to taking space from e.g. parked cars/multi-lane roads to create safe routes.

Personally, when cycling, I'm usually more concerned about bad driving than mugging, so use the Greenway and towpath.
As a recently retired cycling instructor, & self defence instructor in the 80s & 90s, my feeling is that living in fear is the worst of all options.

Measuring relative risk is, as you say DG, notoriously hard. Stats for attacks, injuries or crashes are seldom compared with alternative routes, activities or staying at home.

Sometimes I let the regular crime reports at Finsbury Park put me off my pretty local walk. More often I go anyway, for the same reason I don’t buy lottery tickets 😉
I am a cyclist and over the years had numerous encounters with all sorts of people on my bike. As a person from south London I have long had a rule of thumb: no cycling in parks or along cycle ways or canals (in north London) at night, the risks are too great. I haven't used the Greenway and appreciate tip of broken glass being used to puncture the wheels.

That's another thing to keep an eye out for! Not visible so much at night. The data from the bike shop in Plaistow seems very convincing.
ps. Many years ago (2002) the London Cyclist magazine warned me of a certain in Islington where cyclists were being robbed. Cycling back one night I was vigilant. Sure enough as I approached some pedestrian lights I noticed an adult pushing the button to stop me - despite no cars etc on the road. Just as I thought "I'm not stopping here", I saw a teenager come out of a corner on my side of the road, and just as I started to increase my speed the teenager said like "please help me I've been robbed". But by the time the last word had been said I was sure that's what this incident was - an attempted robbery. I cycled off really quickly through a red light to escape.

- Second ps to you as DG
"is it wise to change behaviour because of fear of crime, rather than based on genuine understanding of facts?"
Yes, I think there are sensible precautions you should always take. My Mum always advised about taking short-cuts at night (through woods, parks), why should cycling be any differant?
Fear is such a horrible thing. It feeds on itself.
So many times I've thought I won't go for my long canal walk because it's so isolated and something nasty might happen.

But the times I have gone anyway, the solitude means there is no one around to cause something nasty to happen and makes the walk all the more enjoyable!
Its not about fear its practicalities: I'm not rich and bikes - with all the add ons (panniers, lights, cycle computers, bicycle repair kit etc) are very expensive to replace. Ditto a smart phone if people have got knifes then how far are they prepared to go? I'm not adverse to doing this kind of walk, but for years the cycling media has been full of robberies directed against cyclists on London's canal paths, notably in rush hour times.
I always feel much safer when cycling on a busy road in a bus lane or cycle superhighway than any of these rural canal paths or quietways. Plus you can average a higher speed on the main roads, and the route is often more direct and better signposted.

Cycling on back lanes and quieter routes ticks zero boxes for me. I would only ever use the Greenway if it was the most direct route I happened to be taking and saved me a lot of time.
Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be anything new.
Soon after getting a pushbike, about 10 years ago, I'd put it in the back of the car, drive to somewhere like Bisson Road, and go for leisure rides, often using the Greenway for itself or to access the various routes along the waterways.
They were always in daylight, and I never experienced any problems, myself, but it was rather off-putting when I told a friend and he relied: "I had a mate who did that. He got stopped and threatened 'Give us your bike or you're going in the canal'"
I didn't brave up to the risk, after that (fortunately with a choice), I simply started finding other places to go.
Two low-life types attempted to rob me whilst I was walking through a park several years ago. I punched one of them in the face repeatedly, fracturing his mandible and zygoma in the process. The other ran off so fast he could well have made an Olympic qualifying time. A far more effective response than pinning up silly posters IMHO.
On the case... Newham Cyclists.

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