Articles - Unlocking London

Staying Safe in London

We want you to enjoy London safely. Whether you're a first-time visitor, regular traveler or local, here are our top tips.

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Here are a few tips to enjoying London safely, whether you're a first-time visitor, regular traveller or local.

  • Call 999 or 112 in an emergency to contact the police, ambulance or fire department.

  • For non-urgent crimes contact the police by calling 101. 

  • Never leave your bag unattended, and report any unattended bags or items in public places.

  • Information about major incidents can be found on the Met Police website.

Is London safe?

London is a very safe place but as with any big city, it's worth taking sensible precautions.

Emergency contacts and information

In an emergency, contact the police, ambulance, or fire department on 999 or 112. These numbers are free to call – only use them in a real emergency.

To report non-urgent crime, contact your local police station by calling 101 from within the UK.

Information about major incidents in the capital can be found on the Met Police website. You can also sign up to alerts on Twitter or Facebook.

The latest transport information can be found on the Transport for London website.

Safe travel in London

  • Plan your route before you leave. See the Transport for London website.
  • Only use taxis or registered minicabs.
  • Try to avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit main roads.
  • Beware of wearing headphones – they reduce awareness of your surroundings.
  • In the UK, cars drive on the left. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green man is showing and take note of the signs indicating "look right" or "look left" to spot any oncoming traffic.  

Staying safe in bars and restaurants

  • Make sure you keep your property out of sight and safely under the table.
  • Many venues have clips under the tables, use them to secure your handbag or briefcase.
  • Don't accept drinks from strangers.
  • Check up on your friends by phone or text to make sure they got home safely and vice-versa.

Keep your belongings safe

  • Don't leave your bag unattended anywhere in London – this can lead to a security alert.
  • Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and don't carry too much cash.
  • When using a cashpoint, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that the ATM hasn't been tampered with. Cover the keypad so no one else can see your PIN number.
  • Keep your mobile phone, MP3 player, camera and other gadgets out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use.
  • Record details of your electronic serial numbers (ESNs).
  • Inform your service provider and police if your phone or other valuables are stolen or lost. Dial 101 for your nearest police service.

Be aware

Useful contacts

For free and confidential support for victims of crime and their families, visit the Victim Support website.

If you have a complaint or query over your consumer rights visit Citizens Advice for information and advice.


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