Happy Halloween Weekend, everyone! Am dashing this off before commencing my metamorphosis into the Un-Dead for a Halloween gala at the Aquarium tonight…mwaha-ha-ha-haaaa…who knew fish could be so spooky?! 😉
In any case, this month I’ve written about Halloween parties, evil tales of horror about landlords, and scary reads that take place in London or the surrounding English countryside (I just finished Dracula, by the way, and warn parents not to let their children stray after dark in Hampstead Heath! Well, you shouldn’t allow them to do that anyway, but who’da thunk that vampires preyed there?!), so I’ll devote today to those other things that go bump in the night…or might make no noise whatsoever as you sleep…or may sneak in during broad daylight while you’re away at work or school.
That’s right, I speak of residential burglary, against which not even quaint, jolly London is immune. I don’t mean to spook you (even though it is Halloween…), but protection against theft is a precaution one needs to take anywhere in the world, particularly in urban areas. According to Home Office statistics, about three-fourths of burglaries in England and Wales take place during the week as opposed to the weekend, and about 60% partake at night. And in the last 12 months through September 2010, the Metropolitan Police Service reports nearly 60,000 residential burglaries, down 5.5% from last year.
Why this topic on one of my Weekend Warrior Saturdays that usually offer packing advice? Well, I was just thinking about all the contents that you work so hard to pack up and ship overseas, so an important subsequent step will be to ensure that all those contents remain in your possession throughout your entire stay. Though you will not be able to purchase contents insurance until you have found your flat, you can at least start researching it. The labyrinth of questions you may have to answer online for an estimate might be challenging without a specific property or even neighborhood in mind, but you can at least acquaint yourself with the options out there so that once you relocate to London and move into your flat, you can acquire your insurance straightaway. Please refer to my earlier post, “London Logistics: Contents Insurance” for a brief discussion of insurers and comparison sites in the UK.
In addition, if I’ve just royally put the fear in you, you might want to research as well the crime statistics in various neighborhoods. The MPS website allows you to search figures by crime and neighborhood at the following link: www.met.police.uk/crimefigures.
The more prepared you are, the safer you and all that stuff you’re packing will be. And rest assured, if you’re looking for an apartment to rent through London Relocation Ltd., our high standards mean we will only show you secure properties in safe locations.