-- Inside Information On The Capital For The Businessman And Tourist

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Personal Security

London, particularly central London is a safe place to visit, however it is advisable to note the following tips to ensure that you do everything you can to prevent your stay being spoilt. [London Street]

The most common problems in London as with most cities are:-


They tend to operate wherever there are large crowds of people, for example at underground train platforms and on trains, especially during rush hour periods when passengers are boarding and getting off trains.

Briefcase and hand bag theft.

Thiefs often grab briefcases and handbags and run off.

Some Tips on safety in London:-

- at crowded places, keep a tight hold of your briefcase or handbag. Do not leave them open,
- always keep a hand on and watch your briefcase or handbag at all times,
- keep a separate record of your travellers cheque serial numbers, and your credit card numbers,
- keep credit cards and cheque books separate,
- if possible keep your valuables in an inside pocket or in a body belt,
- remove yourself or ask for the carbon sheets after a charge/credit card transaction and destroy them,
- only carry valuables that you need for the day; keep the rest in the hotel deposit box or safe,
- don't carry all your credit cards with you - leave at least one in the hotel safe. In addition, keep your airline tickets and passport in the hotel safe. If you need identification, take a photocopy of your passport with you.
- spread the valuables that you do carry over your person; ie have them in different pockets,
- avoid travelling at night along poorly lit and quite side roads, alleyways or under street walk ways,
- while driving, keep valuables, bags and briefcases out of sight and reach. If possible keep doors locked and windows closed at all times,
- on London's streets use only a London Black Taxi which is a taxi that has the orange "TAXI" sign on the front, a meter, and white licence number on the back and inside of the taxi; the driver also has a licence badge. For details of some London Black Taxi companies, see the chapter on Taxis in London.

Do not carry and use mace or gas type personal alarms, these are illegal in the UK. Only the audible type of personal alarms are permitted.

In the unlikely event of an incident, go to the nearest telephone box and dial 999 for the Police.

In the City of London, ie the main banking and financial services area of London, the City Police have set up road traffic check points. The Police mostly monitor and check large commercial vehicles which enter the City. Road signs will direct you through the City. Some bus routes are affected, however, British Rail and Underground train services as well as pedestrian routes are unaffected.

For more advice on Crime Prevention in London, call the Metropolitan Police Crime Prevention Department at New Scotland Yard on 0207- 230 1212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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