Top safety tips for living in the capital

In this article, UCL's Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Advisor gives us some top tips for staying safe in the capital city.

In the most part, London is a safe city and here at UCL, we want you to enjoy your university experience as much as possible. Like all major cities however, it is advisable to take some precautionary measures to ensure your safety, protection, and to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Keep an eye out for "Phone Snatchers" on mopeds and bikes

A particular crime which has seen an increase in London and Bloomsbury is phone snatches by those on mopeds and bikes, sometimes mounting the pavement to swipe your phone out of your hand. The following tips can help prevent you being a victim of phone theft but also from other crimes:

  • Remain alert and aware of your surroundings, especially when using your phone. Try to avoid using your phone in public. If you do, use away from the road side and hold it close to you.
  • Be vigilant: Look out for bikes and mopeds, especially if they go on the pavement.
  • Avoid taking your phone out when you leave transport hubs.
  • Imagine your phone as a wad of money. This is how thieves see your phone.
  • Have your phone lock on so no one can get into it straight away.
  • If you haven't already, register your phone with immobilise. This will help Police return your phone to you and will help catch the thief. Go to www.immobilise.com
  • Ensure your phone settings are updated so you can remotely lock your phone, ensuring the thief cannot access your personal information stored on the phone. If you have online banking on your phone it is advisable to change your passwords.

Look after your valuables

Aside from phone thefts, sometimes opportunists look out for people whose valuables are on show. If you are walking in and around London or decide to pop by a restaurant or bar:

  • Keep your property out of sight of criminals.
  • Do not leave your valuables unattended – please do not use your bag or laptop as a space saver when you go to the till or the toilet. It may not be there when you return.
  • If you are carrying a bag, make sure everything is zipped up and secure. Try to hold it close to you if there is a big crowd behind you.
  • When using a cash point in London, check no one is looking over your shoulder. Cover the keypad so that no one else can see your pin number. Don’t let anyone distract you whilst getting cash out – it could be a scam.

Stay vigilant

Report anything suspicious and be aware of what to do in a rare case of an attack.

Please familiarise yourself with the Run, Hide, Tell procedure in the event of a terrorist incident.

Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings and if you do see something out of place, for example, an item you feel looks suspicious and out of place, please do not be afraid to report it to the police.

In addition, please be aware of what to do in the rare event of a firearm or weapon attack by watching this short video by the National Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaeBBzgcz-w


The above tips are to keep you safe and not frighten you – make sure you feel confident that you know what to do in the event of a crime and don’t let it affect your day to day activities!