Planning an international relocation to London and feeling a bit wary given recent events? Well, I’m finally back from a brief blogging hiatus (I’ve been writing web content for London Relocation’s new website—yeehaw! Stay tuned in September!) to reassure that, yes, we are just fine over here in London in the wake of the city riots.
Was it a little scary at the time? Yes. Did we lose some faith in the local police? Yes. BUT if there’s one thing the UK government knows how to do, if it’s not proactive prevention of a situation, it’s reactive punishment of it. Identified looters are cycling through the courthouses facing severe penalties for their crimes. And local police are getting their wrists slapped for not containing the situation sooner; consequently, they’re revamping their strategies.
Well, they’ll have to. First and foremost, to restore law to the streets on an everyday basis, but also to not frighten off visitors for the 2012 Olympics. The city has been going through such effort to make everything polished and pretty for that global event, which means it’ll be in its finest form for you, too, if you’re moving to London in the upcoming year.
The London neighborhoods where the riots originated are not ones that expats typically move to, nor where our London Relocation agents typically search for London apartments. It was a shame, however, to hear of isolated incidents in a popular neighborhood like Notting Hill as well as the family-friendly Clapham. What I find very interesting is the fact that my friend who lives in Clapham—indeed on the very street that was looted the third night of the riots—told me how all the shops along one stretch had been broken into but one: the Waterstones bookstore. There wasn’t so much as a scratch on its windows. Huh.
But the British people are a citizenry of tremendous pride in their country, and London residents are no less loyal to their city, so the good people in these communities are actively taking back their streets, and there’s been outpouring of support for the business owners impacted and general clean-up effort. There was even an initiative that went viral over the social networks for residents to show their peacefulness by staying in at night and having a “cuppa”—the Brit term for a cup of tea. The goodies here far outnumber the baddies, and the demonstration of this in the aftermath of the riots was heartening straight away. Our peace of mind has been back for a couple weeks now, so don’t you fear either; London is still one heck of a lovely place to live. 🙂