Police verses cyclepaths

Whilst going through the park behind the Ackers in Small Heath this week a cyclist was punched in the face by one of a gang.  He suspected he was about to be mugged, but fortunately two other cyclists turned up and they ran away.

He reported the incident to the police, who advised: “always cycle on the roads, and not along paths in parks”.

Those paths are part of the official cycle routes promoted by the council in this excellent map (order at the bottom of the page), but according to the police these places are no-go areas?