London 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 https://www.gov.uk/find-out-if-i-can-buy-or-carry-a-knife before you travel to avoid arrest, imprisonment or fines.
- Plan your journeys ahead of time, if possible. Know where you are going and which stop you will need. (Check www.tfl.gov.uk 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
- Keep 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
- Keep 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.