Is London Safe?

by Olivier De Winne
Published: Updated: 0 comment

How Safe Is London?

There is no official guidance about where you should not go in the United Kingdom, nor London areas to avoid.  However, like all big cities you should stay vigilant by being aware of what is going around you. What is safe or a risk varies from one person to another. I worked for a few years in security, so my level of ‘unsafe’ isn’t the same as someone who has never being in contact with dubious people. The best way to stay safe is to recognise the feeling of being uncomfortable in one area, then take public transport to return to where you felt more comfortable.

When I visited New York for the first time, I got lost and I ended up in an area where I could feel danger for me, so I walked back to the tube and changed area. Don’t take chances and trust your instinct.  So, how safe is London?  Well, I have lived in London for more that 14 years now and I can say that London is safe to visit.

Is London Safe from Terrorist Attacks?

London was targeted by terrorist attacks in the past and 2017 was a bad year for Londoners as we had 3 major terrorism incidents. Each day, I go to work in London, and I pass through London’s Borough Market each morning and evening. Borough Market was closed after the terrorist attacks on the 3rd June which killed 8 people and injured 48. I could easily have been affected by this attack.

As a big city, London was targeted by terrorists and so will many other big cities in the world. However, looking on the bright side, it is noticeable that the authorities and Police in London learned from this incident and took necessary steps to try and avoid similar incidents in the future. London safety is important, and a lot of public areas have now been protected with bollards to avoid attacks.

piccadily tube

Can I Use the London Underground During the Night?

Yes, it is safe to use the London Underground during the night.  The British Transport Police (BTP) has 100 officers inside the Tube (London Underground) during the night time. London Underground has CCTV cameras everywhere and they can see all areas inside the Tube to prevent crime and other incidents.  For more information on how to use the Tube during the night, check out London Tube at Night.

Check this article for more information about London Underground

How to be Safe in London – 12 Best Tips for Safe Travel

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  1. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you are not feeling safe, it is probably because you aren’t safe. Change area and find where you feel safe.

2. As always when you are travelling as tourists, you need to keep your belongings safe. For that, I found this travel security wallet on Amazon which is cheap and very convenient.

3. Never leave your bag, case or backpack unattended.  You always need to have it next to you where you can see it. If someone sees your backpack alone, there is a good chance that they will call the Police in fear of a terrorist attack. Secondly, your belongings could be stolen.

4. Also, be aware that there is a contactless scam on the London Tube.  People travel with a debit card machine and they use it to remove money from your contactless card. The best way to avoid this scam is to have your contactless card with another one, so the machine doesn’t know where to take the money and the result is that your money will stay safe.

5. When you are using a cashpoint, check you are not being watched by someone behind you and cover the keypad whilst you type in your PIN.

6. When you are travelling in London, it is a good practice to split your cash in two different places. This will avoid showing people all your money. Have one or two notes inside your pocket and use these to pay. Never show all your money in public.

7. In restaurants and bars, keep your property under the table not behind your chair to avoid belongings being stolen.

8. Never accept a drink from a stranger because you need to be sure that nothing is put inside your glass.

9. Look out for your friends and family.  Check if your friends are home safe after a party and they should also make sure you are safe too. Before a party, make arrangements to check on each other’s safety.

10. As far as possible, try to avoid travelling alone at night.  If you must, stick to the main roads to reach your destination.

11. If you listen to music on your headphones, make sure this is set to a low volume so that you can remain aware of your surroundings.

12. If you see something suspicious, you should report it straight away.

What Are the Useful Telephone Numbers in London?

In an emergency, dial 999 or 112.  These numbers are just for an emergency if you need the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service. These numbers are free to call.

For non-emergencies, you can call 101 for the Police or 111 for a Doctor.

london black cab

How Safe is it to Use a London Taxi?

In London, you have the most reputable Cabs (Taxis) in the world.  To become a Cab driver, you need to pass a very difficult exam. London Cab drivers know the city by heart, and they are very serious. However, like any profession there are exceptions.  However, taking a Taxi is a safe way to go from point A to B.

In London, you can also use the Uber service as well.  You just need to download the app on your phone, and you are ready to go. Check out our article for the best travel apps. This option is cheaper and sometimes more convenient because Uber drivers can drive you beyond the outskirts of London, where some Cabs don’t want to go. I use Uber and have never been disappointed.

For a black Cab or Uber, it is the same safety rule – trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, then ask to stop the car where you can see other people and change vehicles.  Never stop in the middle of nowhere because you may find yourself in a worse situation with no help.

London Useful Websites

For latest information regarding accidents in London, you can check the Met Police website and you can sign up for alerts on Twitter or Facebook.

The latest transport information can be found on the Transport of London website.  It is good to check your journey before any travel.

If you respect some rules and you use your common sense, London is a very safe place to visit.

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