Home Business Insights & Advice Estimated 1 in 50 London tourists victims of robbery or theft: How to stay safe in London

Estimated 1 in 50 London tourists victims of robbery or theft: How to stay safe in London

by Sarah Dunsby
21st Mar 24 3:34 pm

London is an incredible city that draws millions of tourists each year with its iconic attractions, bustling streets, and unique history. However, as with any major city, it’s wise for visitors to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions.

Research from bag storage company, Stasher, reveals that an estimated 1 in 50 tourists are victims of robbery or theft, equating to over 466.8k incidents in 2023 alone. Of that number, 67.8k of the incidents were classed as ‘theft from person’, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In a bid to empower tourists with safety tips, Stasher has compiled a range of practical strategies to lower risk and make London experiences more safe and secure.

Protecting yourself and your belongings

Be Vigilant: Stay aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas like public transport, markets, and popular attractions. Avoid isolated streets, and if you feel uncomfortable or notice someone acting suspiciously, move to a safer and more familiar area.

Hide Valuables: Keep your phone, wallet, camera, and other valuables out of sight. Refrain from flaunting expensive jewellery or large sums of cash. Consider using a money belt or a concealed pouch for essential items.

Utilise bag storage: A lesser-known solution is to use London luggage storage. There are locations all over the city where tourists can conveniently stash their bags for a cost-effective price and seamlessly blend into the city. This is particularly useful for people on a day trip, who have checked out of their hotel or are interrailing.

Leave some behind: Minimise the amount of valuables you carry. Consider leaving non-essentials at your hotel and utilising the safe.

Common scenarios to watch out for

Pickpockets: Thieves often work in busy areas. Be particularly cautious around ticket machines, on the Tube, and in shopping districts.

Distraction scams: Groups may approach offering help, asking for directions, or even creating a commotion to disorient you while someone attempts to lift your valuables. Be polite but disengage quickly.

Phone snatching: Thieves on bikes or mopeds have been known to target distracted pedestrians. Be mindful of those around you when using your phone in public.

Smart travel means safer travel

Take advantage of travel apps when travelling in a new city. They are convenient tools for following safe and reliable directions when exploring new places. By pre-planning journeys and relying on official transport links, such as the Tube or licensed taxis, travellers can avoid potentially unsafe situations. Additionally, it will help to prevent getting lost and ensure a more pleasant and stress-free travel experience.

Finally, it is important to trust your instincts. Remove yourself from any unsafe or uncomfortable situations and alert nearby staff or seek help. Your safety is always the most important consideration.

For additional resources, visit: https://www.met.police.uk/police-forces/metropolitan-police/areas/campaigns/2022/staying-safe-in-london/

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