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London bus at nightLondon is a very safe city. However, just like any capital, crime does exist and it’s always best to take extra caution and be prepared when you come to town – whether you are a first time visitor, or even a Londoner! What follows is a handy guide filled with tips and tricks to keep you safe as you travel through town. Remember: The vast majority of crime in London is opportunistic so as long as you don’t appear to be a target – you will likely not become one!

Note: In some countries it is common practice for people to carry a knife – but many blades are illegal in London. Check before you travel to avoid arrest, imprisonment or fines.

Travel Tips

  • London look rightPlan your journeys ahead of time, if possible. Know where you are going and which stop you will need. (Check to plan your trips!)
  • Keep to well-lit main roads when walking at night.
  • Only use registered minicabs or black cabs – never get into an unmarked or unregistered vehicle and never accept a journey from a driver off the street. Only black cabs are allowed to pick up travelers on the street.
  • Do not wear headphones when travelling alone as this will prevent you from being aware of your surroundings.
  • If you are travelling alone on a bus at night – sit downstairs.
  • It seems obvious but take care when crossing the street – we drive on the left here!


Keeping Belongings Safe

  • London Mind the GapKeep your wallet close to your body, and valuables on your person when possible.
  • Keep things like money, wallets, phones, etc. out of sight.
  • Never leave your bags unattended anywhere in London – this can lead to security alerts!
  • When carrying your bag, tuck it under your arm, or if you have a longer strap, cross it over your chest and one shoulder.
  • Try not to carry very much cash.
  • Only use cash points/ATMs that are well lit and be aware of people standing behind you.
  • Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN at a cash point.
  • If a stranger on the street asks you for directions or the time, be extra aware of your belongings while you answer (particularly your phone and wallet).
  • Always keep a separate bit of cash somewhere else on you so, even if you are a victim of crime, you will always have enough money to get back to your home/hotel.
  • Do not tuck your phone into your back pocket!


Bars, Pubs & Restaurant Tips

  • Bar and beerKeep your property underneath the table or out of sight.
  • Many locations have bag clips underneath bars/tables. Hang your bags there if you can.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended and do not accept drinks from strangers.
  • Consider covering your drink when not sipping.
  • When out on the town, keep an eye on your friends and vice versa!
  • Do not accept cigarettes from strangers



Medical and Emergency Services

  • To reach Emergency Services dial 999 or 112 (only in case of a REAL emergency)
  •  To report non-urgent crime, contact a local police station or dial 101.

About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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