Much like in any big city around the world, safety is an important aspect to consider when planning your stay. Whether you’re travelling to and from student accommodation in London Zone 1, off visiting friends, or heading to uni, it’s a good idea to take some precautions so you can enjoy your time in the city and stay safe.
If you’re interested about safety and security at our urbanest properties, check out our frequently asked questions.
How Safe Is London?
No matter if you’re a resident, a tourist or a student, London is a safe place to spend some time. According to the European City Crime Index Survey by Numbeo, London has a lower crime rate than many well-known cities across the continent. As an example, Barcelona, Dublin, Marseille, and plenty more have higher crime rates than the city of London.
How Safe Is the UK and London for International Students?
According to research by the British Council’s Education Intelligence Unit, the fifth most important factor which influences where a student chooses to study is a country’s safety. This research found that the UK has been deemed the safest country to live in for international students. This is due to a combination of factors including the lack of gun culture, a strong healthcare system and the diversity of London’s culture.
How To Stay Safe in London
Regardless of how safe any city is, you’ll still need to take precautions. Here we identify the 6 most important tips for staying safe in London:
1. Plan your journey
Planning your route before you leave the house, saving emergency contact details into your phone and travelling with friends are some of the ways you can prepare yourself to safely travel within London. If you’re travelling alone, letting a friend or family member know your plans and where you’re travelling to can also help your relatives have peace of mind when it comes to your safety. Leaving with plenty of time in advance will help you to take the stress away from travel as well as give you enough time to carefully plan your route.
2. Remain alert and vigilant
With any travel, it is important to always keep your personal belongings with you at all times. Never leave your things unattended and that’s including drinks at a bar or restaurant. Be sure to report any suspicious activity on transport including unattended bags or belongings. Check in with your friends and encourage them to check that you have gotten home safely too. Having a buddy system will help to ensure your safety not just in London, but wherever you travel.
3. Keep up to date with COVID-19 regulations
Practising social distancing and other COVID related regulations will ensure both you and other transport users remain safe and well during and after travel. Stay up to date with regulation changes to ensure you adhere to any rules such as wearing a facemask, avoiding rush hour and staying 2 metres apart from other passengers.
For urbanest specific COVID-19 safety regulations, check out our coronavirus information guide.
4. Stick to well lit and busier streets
Where possible, avoid walking along dark and quiet streets. Stick to busy areas where there are other passers-by. Ensuring you remain in well-lit areas with lots of people around will not only lower any risk to your safety but it will also allow you to feel more confident and safe.
5. Travel in groups
Organising to travel with friends or family members could not only mean lower transport fares but can also help to ensure your safety when travelling in London. If you’re unable to travel with a companion, always let a flatmate or friend know where you are and what time you’re expected to return home.
6. Limit the risk of theft and being pickpocketed
Much like in any city in the world, there is a risk of being pickpocketed or having personal items being stolen. You can avoid it by keeping valuables out of sight, ensuring your pockets are zipped up in busy areas and being aware of suspicious activity from other passengers. Don’t let your belongings out of your sight and when using a cashpoint, check that the ATM hasn’t been tampered with and that someone isn’t looking over your shoulder.
Is London Safe At Night?
London is beautiful at night, all lit up with lots going on. It is important however not to let your guard down and remain extra vigilant just in case. London at night is generally safe but in order to mitigate risk and enjoy your night, ensure people know where you are, that you plan your travel ahead and if you’re trying out new areas, be sure to check them out first in the daytime to get your bearings.
Is The London Underground Safe at Night?
Using the underground at night is generally safe but you should always take the precautions mentioned above to ensure you limit any risk to yourself and your belongings. Don’t carry large amounts of cash, keep your gadgets out of sight and beware of wearing headphones or playing loud music as this reduces the awareness of your surroundings.
London Safety Summary
London is a big city with lots of exciting sights to see and things to do. It can be overwhelming at times with very crowded streets, tall buildings and busy roads. In order to enjoy your time in London and remain safe, it is always best to think ahead to ensure yours and your friend’s wellbeing. Whether that’s planning ahead, travelling with a companion or being extra vigilant, it is always important to take steps to stay safe not just in London, but anywhere you go.