When visiting a city, people are often awe-struck by the bright lights, incredible sights and unending stream of people flowing through the streets. If you’ve never been to a big city before, you may be apprehensive about some of the crime stories you often hear about metropolitan areas.
Is London Dangerous?
In general, yes, London is a safe city for visitors, but there are certain neighborhoods to avoid. It’s also important to avoid pickpockets and scam artists that target tourists in crowded areas. The best way to prevent becoming a victim in this case is to practice vigilance, secure any of your belongings and always be aware of your surroundings. As you traverse the city, you’ll constantly be surprised by its unique blend of modern and traditional architecture. While it is a walker-friendly travel destination, you should be careful about where you wander. One wrong turn can put you in a dangerous situation, so it’s best to plan your general route ahead of time. Generally speaking, there are no major crime districts to look out for. Instead, you should practice caution as you walk through the streets, avoid any dark alleys and walk alone at night.
What Are the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in London?
Tourist heavy areas like the West End tend to have a lot of minor crimes, such as pickpocketing, but robberies, muggings and harassment can happen anywhere. Female solo travelers should be cautious if they plan to go out at night, especially if they plan on frequenting an area that has heavy crowds, bars and nightclubs. The boroughs in London with the highest crime rates per capita are typically:
You’ll notice that many of these areas are still highly popular, well-maintained and filled with tourists and locals alike throughout the day. That being said, a strong travel itinerary backed by early research can help you avoid any mishaps that could lead to deviating from travel plan. You can use a travel search platform to find the best deals on coach tickets from major cities throughout the UK. For example, the Manchester to London coach offers an affordable journey between two of the UK’s most popular cities in a matter of hours.
Don’t Walk Around with Headphones
Unless you’re on a guided audio tour, skip the headphones or earbuds. You should always be fully aware of your surroundings, and that includes being able to hear pedestrians, traffic signals and any warning horns blasted from buses, trams, cyclists or passing vehicles. And if you bring a book during travel pop your head up from the pages every once and a while to be sure that have your wits about you.
Do Not Go Anywhere Alone with Strangers
Never enter someone’s home, a lone street or other private location with someone you’ve just met, no matter how nice they seem. There are many scams that target both men and women. You could easily be lured into somewhere dangerous and be mugged, assaulted or worse before you have a chance to realize what’s happening.
Put Your Phone Away
Your phone should be kept in the front pocket of your pants, not in your hand. The latter gives thieves an easy way to swipe and run off with your only means of calling for help.
Use Anti-Theft Bags
There are backpacks and belt bags designed to hide zippers and attach more securely to your body to avoid theft; these bags are worth the investment, especially if you plan on spending most of your days touring London on foot or taking the Tube.
Dress to Fit In, Not Stand Out
Flashy jewelry, designer bags and clothes make you a target among pickpockets and muggers. You should opt for low-key looks that blend in with the crowd. Enjoy getting dolled up for a night on the town, but save the runway fashion for home.