city view at london

Is London a Safe Destination for Travellers?

London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year. The city offers a wealth of cultural and historical attractions, as well as world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment. However, as with any major city, safety is always a concern for travelers. In this blog post, we will explore the question of whether London is a safe place for travelers, and provide tips on how to stay safe while visiting the city.

London england

London is one of my favorite cities in Europe but it’s unlike other big cities in the continent like Munich, Copenhagen, or Prague because of just how populous the city is.

London City crime statistics

According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, the overall crime rate in London has been decreasing in recent years. In 2020, the total number of reported crimes in London was around 526,000, which is a decrease of 7% compared to the previous year. The majority of crimes committed in London are non-violent, such as theft and handling stolen goods.

city view at london

Violent crime in London has also been decreasing in recent years, although it still remains a concern for some areas. In 2020, the number of reported cases of violence against the person was around 110,000, which is a decrease of 6% compared to the previous year. However, in the same year, knife crime increased by 7%, with a total of 15,100 reported cases.

It’s also worth noting that crime rates can vary significantly between different areas of London. The city center and West End, for example, have lower crime rates compared to some areas of East and South London. Visitors to London should be aware of this and take extra precautions when visiting areas with higher crime rates.

Is London Safe For Travelers?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that London is a very safe city overall. London is an enormous city with the London population of nearly 8 million people dispersed across a distance of 1,500 miles square miles. The crime rate in London is relatively low compared to other major cities in the world, and the city has a strong and visible police presence. The majority of crimes committed in London are non-violent, such as pickpocketing and theft. However, like any major city, there are areas that are safer than others.

One of the safest areas in London is the city center, which includes popular tourist destinations such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye. These areas are heavily patrolled by police and are generally considered to be safe for visitors. However, it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings and to keep your valuables secure.

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Another area that is considered safe for travelers is the West End, which is home to many of London’s top theaters and shopping areas. This area is also well-patrolled by police and is generally considered to be safe for visitors. However, it’s important to be aware of pickpockets, as this is a common crime in the area.

Outside of the city center and the West End, there are some areas of London that are considered to be less safe. These include parts of East London, such as Hackney and Tower Hamlets, as well as certain areas of South London, such as Brixton and Camberwell. Visitors to these areas should be extra cautious and should avoid walking alone at night.

Overall, London is a safe place for travelers, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to take common-sense precautions to stay safe.

Safety tips for London

Travel

  • Stay away from bicycle pedicabs.
  • If you must stroll at night, stick to well-lit streets.
  • If you must take the bus at night by yourself, it is best to do so on the lower level seats.
  • Be cautious when crossing the street, as people drive on the left side of the road.
  • To keep yourself safe while traveling alone, you shouldn’t listen to music or podcasts using headphones.
  • If at all feasible, plot out your travel plans in advance. Get to your destination and then figure out which stop you need to get off at.
  • Use only official taxi services such as minicabs or black cabs; never get into an unlabeled or unlicensed car, and never agree to ride with a stranger. Commuters can only be picked up in authorized black cabs.
  • It’s highly recommended that solitary tourists join a guided tour of the city.

Belongings:

  • Put your phone somewhere other than your back pocket.
  • Hide valuables such as cash, wallets, phones, etc.
  • If possible, keep your money and other valuables close to your body.
  • Leave your bags with a party member at all times in London, as doing so can trigger security concerns.
  • Don’t use your phone while standing on the sidewalk, where opportunistic robbers on mopeds or bicycles can quickly grab it.
  • Carry your bag under your arm or, if the strap is long enough, across your chest and one shoulder.
  • Whenever a random person approaches you on the street and inquires about the time or location, you should take extra precautions to protect your personal belongings (particularly your phone and wallet).
  • Keep some cash stashed away in a safe place so that you can still travel back to your home or hotel if you are robbed.
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In Bars, Pubs, and Restaurants:

  • Keep your drink within reach at all times.
  • Don’t drink anything manufactured or poured for you by an unknown person. Keep your belongings out of sight by placing them beneath the table; many establishments also provide bag clips for placing your bags under the table or bar.
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Johnny
Johnny

I'm a dual Canadian-American from NYC that moved to South Africa for work and ended up traveling all through the continent. I'm currently living the expat life in Frankfurt, Germany and traveling the world as much as I can. I'm a bit obsessed with scuba diving, churning credit cards so I never pay to fly, and eating the most questionable of foods in the most peculiar of places. My bucket list is the world, and some day I might make it there.