Whether you are booked onto a London tour, scheduled to see a West End show or heading into the city for a spot of shopping, you can never be too careful.
Even in typically trouble-free areas of London, you can come across vagrants and challenging situations. So to help you be prepared and aware of street safety in London, we have compiled this brief guide to dealing with the darker side of London life.
Pick Pocketers on the Prowl
Watch out for your wallet or purse when wandering around London. Pick pocketing is big business in towns and cities across the world. In cities the size of London though, it can be a real problem – especially for tourists so distracted by what is around them that they drop their guard. Be aware of professional pick pocketers on the capital’s streets; they’ll be long gone with your freshly-grabbed stack of cash before you even register you’ve walked past somebody.
Be Sure to Blend In
The quickest way to become a target is to look like a tourist. Yes, you want to soak it all in, and you will want to take lots of photos as you explore all that London has to offer. However, waddling around with a bum bag or taking umpteen selfies at each of the city’s tourist traps will all but scream “I’m not from here! Pick me!”
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
You’d never dream of being mugged whilst exploring the history, culture and beauty of our capital city. However, you need to be prepared – after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Do not keep all of your money and valuables in the same place. Spread cash and cards across different pockets, and keep your phone and keys in your front pockets at all times. This will minimise the damage if the worst happens, and if it does, don’t fight it. There’s no need to be a hero and belongings can be replaced, so just let it go and stay safe.
Brace Yourself for the Great British Outdoors
Our strong constitution for even the dampest and bleakest of days has become quite the symbol of good old fashioned Britishness. Be aware of the weather though, and make sure you dress and prepare accordingly. If it is going to be cold, wrap up. If it is likely to rain, take an umbrella (in fact, pack a brolly anyway – it will rain at some point). And if it is going to be hot then make sure you take a bottle of water to keep hydrated.
No Unattended Bags or Belongings
We are used to hearing this security warning in public transport hubs, but it is common sense. Don’t leave your personal belongings unattended, at any point, whilst in London. Even when you can see your bag or phone sat on the table, two yards away from where you’re ordering coffee; that’s two yards too far away.
These five tips are just a few points for street safety in London. Hopefully, most of what has been discussed is second nature to you. Just in case though, you can refer to this guide and go on as many East End tours and London theatre trips as you want.