Is London dangerous or is it an exaggeration? London has become one of Europe’s most violent cities. The question is whether you as a tourist need to worry or whether you are in peace and quiet visiting Big Ben and Tower of London?
England is the most violent country in Europe, and the number of violent violations, depending on how to count, is between 775 and 2000 reported per 100,000 inhabitants. This can be compared with the United States where the number is 466 per 100,000 inhabitants. Sweden is third in European countries.
In England, authorities have long been trying to curb crime. As a result, England is now one of the world’s most camera-controlled countries, and London is no exception.
Westminister is the worst
Where many tourists gather, offenses also pay. The Westminister District has most of London’s major attractions and Hyde Park. Per square kilometer in Westminister was 6480 crimes reported. Many of these are about theft and drug use. The number of murders in Westminister is not surprisingly high, and as a tourist, you can move safely in the neighborhood.
Increasing number of murders
In the early 2000s, the number of murders was decreasing. But in later years, it has risen again. In 2014, 86 murders were confirmed and in 2015 they reached 118. An increase of 25.5%. The number of murders often follows trends for gang conflicts.
Areas to avoid
In north London, the following areas are classified as unsafe: Wood Green, Tottenham, Edmonton, Hackney, Dalston, Walthamstow and Bethnal Green.
In southern London: Deptford, Catford, Lewisham, New Cross, Camberwell, Kennington, Brixton, Greenwich, Southwark, Stockwell, Elephant & Castle, Clapham, Balham, and Peckham.
Now, this does not mean automatically that you get into trouble if you as a tourist goes into some of the areas, but the risk is greater. Of course, it will increase further when the sun goes down. There is also nothing here to see.
Unsafe in London’s inner city?
Generally, London’s city center, including Westminister, is safe places. A lot of police and other security personnel are available due to previous terrorist attacks.
Just like in American metropolitan areas, business districts become very desolate after office hours. Many homeless people then rush to search the trash cans and addicts are likely to meet. Instead, stay in mixed areas with restaurants and other establishments that do not close at 17:00.
A hint for tourists is to avoid so-called business hotels, as the outside area can be quite deserted in the evening. The advantage may be that business hotels have good prices on weekends when many office workers travel home.
Traveling to London is good for most. Like other international metropolitan areas, it is important not to be naive and the biggest risk is pick-pockets. Avoid using drugs and places that are poorly lit and desolate. If you do not have a particular case, stay in the inner city.
In the entertainment area Soho (belonging to the inner city) there are many drunk people and pick-pockets. Do not start talking with people wearing gang symbols.
Finally, never forget about to sign a travel insurance or make sure you have a valid. It applies to all destinations!
The London metropolitan Police has a crime map with places for crime pinpointed. Chech it out here.