8 top tips to stay safe on public transport

3 December 2020

Public transport is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get around London. That said, crime sometimes takes place on public transport, so we want to share some tips to keep you safe on your travels.

public transport

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and London life

We understand that some of you may be studying remotely to begin with due to the coronavirus situation and therefore unable to arrive on campus and in London in January.

We hope that even if you can’t join us immediately, that these articles get you excited for when you are able to join us here in London and give you a flavour of the amazing things to come.

  1. Try to plan your route in advance. Free TFL and Citymapper apps are great for telling you everything you need to know about your journey. It can be necessary to look at your phone to track your journey, if you do this please take your phone out somewhere where it is harder for an opportunistic thief to take it. When planning your journey check the last train, tube and bus times.
  2. Know your exits. When on any form of public transport, tube, train and bus, check where the nearest exits, fire exists and alarms are in case you need to get off for whatever reason.
  3. Stay where the people are. If you travelling by train and tube, try to avoid sitting in an empty carriage. If you are travelling by bus late at night it is always best to sit near the driver.
  4. Always use a licensed cab or black cab. A licenced cab should always have a registered licence ID number on the back of the vehicle just above the registration number plate. Try to keep a local taxi/cab firm number with you in case you need to call them or download a well-known cab service such as Uber. Before you get into the vehicle, ask who they have turned up for just to double check.
  5. Keep your valuables secure in your bag. It can get very busy on trains, buses and tubes, which would provide a thief with an easier opportunity to take something if your valuables are on show.
  6. Trust your instincts. If you are sat somewhere and feel uncomfortable move away if you can. An example might be if you see someone behaving in a loud, aggressive or intoxicated manner. If you are on the tube you could exit at the next stop and find another carriage where you feel safer or you can alert a member of staff at the station if you feel someone needs to intervene.
  7. Spotted something suspicious? If you see anything which seems out of place on public transport, for example a bag which does not appear to belong to anyone, please let a member of staff at the station know. It may be nothing, but it is better to be cautious. You will not be wasting anyone’s time by raising concerns you have.
  8. Report it. In the rare event that you become a victim of sexual harassment on public transport or you witness someone else who appear to be victim to harassment, you can text 61016 or call Police on 101. Provide details of what happened, where and when. If you would like support please go to Report+Support.

There is more information on travelling safely on the Transport for London website. Enjoy London and stay safe!

UCL's Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team