If you are going to be out and about in London, safety is one of the things that should be highest in your mind. This is true whether you are a resident or a visitor.
Looking after yourself properly is critical, and failing to do so could have serious consequences. London is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United Kingdom.
So, which areas of London are particularly dangerous? Let’s find out where you need to be most cautious and aware of your surroundings.
What Makes An Area More Dangerous?
Quite a few different things determine whether an area is safe or dangerous, and sometimes different people will have different concerns. A woman, for example, might feel differently about the danger of certain areas than a man.
However, we’ll look at the overall safety of some of the areas of London. You can then apply your own feelings to this and make decisions that will keep you safe.
One of the most important things to consider is crime statistics from reliable bodies like the Met Police. Another is how well-connected the area is. Areas with good transport links tend to be safer than areas without.
There are other factors that affect safety too. Proximity to affluent areas often makes a difference. Libraries and good amenities tend to be in safer spots too.
Areas that have a lot of squatters and vacant properties are often problematic. Some areas have more violent crime, and some have more petty crime. For example, pickpocketing areas might have more reports of crime, but you might feel safer here than murder hotspots.
In the last year, the number of violent crimes in London has gone up by almost 6 percent.
It’s important to remember that London is still considered one of the safest capital cities in Europe, but being aware of dangerous areas can help you to stay safe.
We will account for all of these things while looking at the most dangerous parts of London. With that in mind, let’s start exploring the danger zones.
The 10 Dangerous London Boroughs
203.6 crimes per 1000 people
Even though Westminster is home to many important buildings, it is also the worst borough in London in terms of its crime rates. It has held this stat for several years.
More importantly, it has the highest violent crime rate in all of London. This means we aren’t just talking about pickpockets and petty theft.
That might surprise you, because Westminster is also home to some of the most important buildings in the UK. Thousands of tourists visit it every year, and this is thought to increase the crime rates.
If you are planning to visit Westminster, it’s a good idea to be aware of this. You may wish to travel with a friend. You might also wish to avoid visiting the area at night, or using public transport alone.
Don’t carry valuables in this area, and make sure your wallet and phone are kept in a zipped bag or pocket. Westminster is particularly known for street thefts.
It’s a good idea to avoid carrying other valuables if you can, so you will be a less tempting target for thieves.
This is particularly true if you are a tourist and otherwise unfamiliar with London. Keeping yourself safe is important, so be careful.
Kensington And Chelsea
115 crimes per 1000 people
Despite being an affluent area, Kensington and Chelsea is dangerous. This is a little surprising, but the money attracts attention from criminals.
The area is densely populated and suffers from a lot of theft. If you are going to stay in Kensington and Chelsea, you should think about the security of your possessions.
Carrying expensive gadgets or wearing expensive clothing could make you an obvious target. Aim to dress inconspicuously, and don’t flaunt your wealth.
While out and about in Kensington and Chelsea, make sure you keep your valuables safe. However, it’s worth noting that violent crime rates are lower here than in many other parts of London.
104.5 crimes per 1000 people
Unfortunately, this area is particularly known for violent crime, which may deter some people from visiting it. Violent crimes are among the most frightening.
Personal attacks are the commonest kind of crime in Newham. There were over 10,000 instances reported in 2021.
This makes it a particularly frightening place to visit if you are on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar with London. Be cautious and stay aware of your surroundings.
Theft is also common, and represents about a quarter of all crime. High security is needed for businesses that operate in Newham.
There is also a lot of drug-related crime. Anti-social behavior is common as a result.
Noise complaints, abusive language, and aggression are often encountered in Newham.
That means you need to be vigilant for many kinds of criminal activity in this area.
If you are unfamiliar with Newham, travel with another person. It’s a good idea to understand the public transport system so you can get in and out easily.
It’s also best not to travel through Newham at night if you can avoid it. While around 70 percent of people feel safe in Newham during the day, only around a third feel safe at night.
111.5 crimes per 1000 people
Although it’s the second smallest borough in London, Islington has some serious crime problems. It’s mostly residential, but has high levels of both violence and theft. Theft represents around 30 percent of crime and violence represents around 25 percent.
It also has high levels of sexual violence. For women in particular, walking alone in Islington at night may be inadvisable.
If you live in Islington or you are staying there, take home security seriously. Be vigilant about locking doors and windows.
Avoid walking alone at night. Be particularly cautious when using public transport, as there were 237 sexual assaults on trains and at stations in just 4 years (2016 to 2020).
To put that into further context, remember that 5 in 6 women and 4 in 5 men don’t report sexual assaults. That means the numbers are probably much higher.
Both men and women should avoid traveling alone at night in Islington for this reason.
103 crimes per 1000 people
Close to the center of London, Lambeth is a very popular destination, but it’s still one of the most dangerous places in London. Again, its violent crime rates sit at around 30 percent. That makes it unsafe for both residents and visitors.
Theft is also high in Lambeth, and there were nearly 8000 thefts reported there in 2021 alone.
You might want to see Lambeth because of its clubs and hotels, but you should be careful. Take precautions to protect yourself before you visit this place.
Some places rank Lambeth as the 23rd most dangerous city in the UK. Sexual offenses are also very common, with over 10,000 reports in 2021.
Possession of weapons is another major problem in this city. It is growing fast, which is likely to increase the number of violent crimes in the area.
If you plan to visit Lambeth, try to go during the day. Avoid conflict and keep yourself safe.
111 crimes per 1000 people
Camden is famous for its market, but you might get more than you bargain for if you wander around here at night.
There is a lot of theft, including bicycle theft. There are fewer occurrences of weapon possession, but violent crimes and sexual assaults are still common.
Camden comes into the top 20 most dangerous cities in the UK. It’s certainly a tourist’s dream, but you should be careful if you visit it.
It’s also well-known for pickpockets. You should avoid carrying valuables in accessible places.
If you do need to carry valuables in these areas, choose a bag that fastens around your waist and utilize hidden pockets where possible.
There are a lot of things to attract people to Camden, but if you are going to visit it, take precautions and remain aware of your surroundings while you are there.
100 crimes per 1000 people
If you watched any of the 2012 Olympic Games, you may be familiar with Hackney, which was one of the hosts. It has many green spaces and is popular with tourists.
However, Hackney is often among the top 5 most dangerous boroughs in London, and both violent and sexual assaults are common. There are few weapons crimes in the area, but burglaries are a serious danger.
Hackney’s rate of crime is about 20 percent higher than the rate of crime for London as a whole.
Theft is a major issue in Hackney, and has accounted for almost 40 percent of reports in some years. Violence usually accounts for about 30 percent.
Take sensible precautions if you are going to visit Hackney, and avoid walking alone at night.
Hackney is known for many positives, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Hackney Empire Theater. As long as you are careful while in the area, you can enjoy this beautiful borough.
It is thought that Hackney is improving, but at present, it is still among the top 20 most dangerous cities in the United Kingdom. Be cautious if you are staying here.
106 crimes per 1000 people
Southwark is in central London, but this doesn’t make it a safe place to be. It attracts a lot of tourists every year, and that attracts criminals too.
With things like the Globe Theater and the Shard, Southwark has a lot to appeal to crowds. Unfortunately, that leads to both theft and assaults. Almost 30 percent of crimes committed are theft, and almost 25 percent are violent.
If you will be spending time in Southwark, avoid carrying valuables that could make you stand out from the crowd. Keep wallets and phones in zipped, hidden pockets, and minimize how much cash you carry.
Bicycle theft is also a major issue, so be sure to buy a secure lock for your bike if you’re traveling around with it. Never leave a bike unattended without locking it up first.
110 crimes per 1000 people
You wouldn’t expect Haringey to be listed as one of the roughest parts of London, but unfortunately, violent crime is common here. Almost 30 percent of crimes in this borough are related to violence.
There are a lot of tourists in this area, which means that theft is also high. It often accounts for almost 20 percent of crimes. There are also a lot of vehicle offenses, and some burglaries.
For the most part, though, you need to worry more about protecting yourself than your belongings here. Avoid going out into the area alone, especially at night.
Where possible, travel with a friend, and carry personal safety devices such as pepper spray. This may help to keep you safe in this area.
Despite the crime rates, there is a lot to draw people to Haringey. It contains Bruce Castle and Alexandra Place, and a lot of green spaces. It should be noted that the amount of crime here has gone down in recent years.
Hammersmith And Fulham
118 crimes per 1000 people
Theft is probably the biggest crime in Hammersmith and Fulham, followed by violent crime.
Unfortunately, this area has a very dense population, with nearly 200,000 residents in less than 7 square miles. This may contribute to the increased criminal activity.
There were over 5000 instances of violent crime in 2021, and nearly 10,000 thefts. Take steps to protect both yourself and your belongings when you are in this area.
Bicycle theft is another big problem here, so invest in a good lock if you plan to ride your bike in this Hammersmith and Fulham.
London is generally considered quite a safe city for both tourists and residents. However, there are certainly some areas that are more dangerous than others.
Whether you are visiting London or thinking of moving there, you should take this into account. Understanding crime rates and the types of crimes that are common will help you to protect yourself.