Living in London can be one of the best times you’ll ever have in your life. You will be moving to one of the most fascinating cities in the world; it is certainly one of the largest as well, and you will be well advised to keep your wits about you at all times. For all the quaint charm of London, it is still a big city and that means that there can be a fair amount of crime. There are definitely things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of crime, but that does not mean that you need to spend you nights shut up in your new London flat. London is safer than many cities in the world and has an excellent police force and emergency services.
Staying Safe in London
- The Artful Dodger: Keep a lookout for pickpockets. They will certainly be looking out for you! Tourists or people who look like tourists are targets and pickpockets work in large crowds or groups of people. Do not travel with large amounts of cash on you, and split your cash between your pockets.
- 911 in London: If you need even the smallest assistance, do not hesitate to call 999, which is the English equivalent of 911 in the States. If you are injured in any way, they will help you immediately. If you have a medical emergency remember that The ER is called Accident and Emergency in England (A & E). The NHS will treat you in an emergency even if you are a foreigner.
- Bobby on the Beat: There are loads of police officers everywhere in London thanks to the programme that has put police officers back onto the streets and into the community. British police officers are exceptionally friendly and helpful and their distinctive uniform makes them easy to spot.
- All official and licensed taxicabs are marked. Do not ever get into an unlicensed taxicab. Not only is it illegal, it may also be potentially dangerous. You can catch a licensed taxicab at any time of the day or night or you can even phone for one and your position is plotted using GPS and the location of your mobile phone.
- The Tube does not run 24 hours a day. Don’t get stranded in the wee hours of the morning without a lift back home. Be organised.
- If something goes wrong and you are in the unfortunate position of being arrested. Know the telephone number of your Embassy. They will be able to assist you immediately.
The interesting aspect of living in London is that most Londoners enjoy crime free life compared to many other cities in the world. Just as you would not venture into salubrious parts of your home city, neither should you do so here. Common sense really, but it is possible to wander too far off the beaten track if you are exploring and if you do suddenly find yourself in a seemingly dodgy area of the city without a phone or your numbers then head for the local pub and ask them to use the telephone.