You may have heard that London is generally safe, but it’s still good to take precautions to stay secure. Bear in mind that crime is common in almost all major cities. It’s only the degree that varies.
So, when visiting London, your first obligation is to study the city inside and outside the map. Know which places you’ll be visiting before you even board a plane. It ensures you won’t look lost when you arrive in the city and start exploring their rich cultural heritage. Robbers know how to spot clueless tourists and try their dirty tricks on them. With that in mind, consider the following tips to keep yourself safe while visiting London:
Use Reliable Means Of Transport
London is a very populous city, meaning thousands of people move in and out of it daily. So, if you’re looking to travel by coach from Manchester to London, you can easily miss the reliable bus service companies because of the high demand. Thus, it’s advisable to book a ticket a day or two before the intended journey.
Travelling with less reputable services may compromise your safety, given that you may have to wait for an unknown period before boarding the bus. Thieves or snatchers may take advantage of you during this waiting time. Also, some are known to accommodate more passengers than allowed. Such overcrowding provides the perfect setting for pickpockets.
When booking a bus, you may also want to check whether they have CCTV surveillance equipment, which helps deter robbers and monitor all that happens on the bus.
For the places that are not accessible using public transport, make sure you hire registered taxis. These are known to be much safer, and you can report any incidents to the management. It would be best to avoid unregistered and illegal cabs since they are not regulated by the authority, meaning they may not follow any protocols for safety. You can know the difference between the two by looking into the drivers’ credentials to ascertain they’re legitimate. Additionally, do more research to find out what legal London taxis look like.
Stay Alert All Times
It’s pretty easy to get carried away by the breath-taking scenery of London City. But no matter how exciting it gets, remember to stay alert all the time. Don’t leave your phone, laptop, tablet, or suitcases unattended at the bus station or hotel lobby. Robbers can easily pick them up and walk away scot-free.
Here are some further precautions to take to ensure your safety:
- Carry only the money you’re going to use for the day.
- If you’re out on the street, consider placing your phone in the bag and ensuring the zip is closed.
- Leave your tablet or laptop in your hotel room if you’re not planning to use it while out.
- Avoid wearing headphones to enhance your alertness on the streets.
- Check the roads thoroughly before crossing. London’s roadways are congested, and you can get hit by a vehicle anytime if you’re not vigilant.
- Choose a trustworthy luggage storage service, preferably one that’s insured.
Know The Emergency Contacts
If you’re visiting London from another country or continent, you must know their emergency contacts. Note them down in your notebook and phone so you can quickly ask for help in case you find yourself in trouble. Here are the two emergency numbers you should know:
- 999 or 112: You can dial either of these two numbers if you get robbed. You can also use them if there’s a fire in your room or you run into any medical emergency.
- 111: This is a contact for non-urgent issues. For instance, you can call this number if you see any suspicious activity happening around your hotel. The police will then take their time to investigate and see if the threat is real and make the necessary arrests.
Avoid The Dangerous Streets
If you’re new to the town, it would be better to walk through streets that are generally considered safe. Some areas in London that are categorised as dangerous include Westminster, Newham, and Camden. Thousands of acts of violence are recorded in these places annually.
On the same note, try confining your visits to the daytime. The night-time in London may be dangerous, as muggers and pickpockets abound. Also, don’t walk along empty alleys where no one is near to help should you get accosted by a robber.
Staying safe while enjoying your trip to London should be your utmost priority. So, ensure you take the necessary measures to keep yourself secured. Security starts with you as an individual by being vigilant at all times, given that no city in the world has zero crime rates. Additionally, use reliable means of transport, stay at reputable hotels, and avoid danger zones.