Travel tips | Traveller tips | Safety and security

Safety and security

Tips and advice to help you stay safe during your trip

By international standards, Britain is a safe country with low rates of street crime and violence. Use this general guide to help you maximise your personal safety during your trip.

Most of these tips are common sense, and you probably practise them in your own country, but they can make a real difference.

Emergency situations

In an emergency that requires ambulance, police or fire services dial 999 from any telephone. In the case of a non-emergency crime you should contact your local police station.

Insurance

We strongly advise that you take out adequate insurance before you leave to cover you for any health and medical issues, and also for theft or damage to your belongings.

Tips to help you stay safe

Using public transport & taxis

  • Avoid waiting alone at bus stops and on train platforms.
  • On a double-decker bus, sit downstairs where the driver can see you.
  • Avoid sitting in an empty carriage on trains and the Underground.
  • Check the time of the last train, bus or tube back to your accommodation.
  • Walking near railway lines can be very dangerous; never touch them.
  • Always use a licensed taxi – check the back of the taxi to ensure it carries an official licence plate.
  • Minicabs that stop in the street may be cheaper, but they are not as safe as those you arrange over the phone.
  • If you need immediate assistance when travelling on a bus or train you can call the British Transport Police free on 0800 40 50 40.

Be safe on the streets

  • Stay on the pavement walking towards oncoming traffic.
  • Look both ways when you cross the street – remember cars drive on the left in Britain.
  • Never carry large amounts of money with you, but always make sure you have enough for a phone call and a bus or taxi home.
  • Keep your handbag and belongings close to your body and wear them in front of you.
  • Avoid using cash machines at night or in isolated places, and always be aware of people around you.
  • Try not to display expensive items like laptops, mobile phones and jewellery.
  • Avoid confrontation – if you are harassed, try to remove yourself from the situation.
  • If you think you are being followed, find the nearest public place and ask for assistance.

At your accommodation

  • Avoid leaving valuables in your room.
  • Make sure your room door is locked when you leave.
  • All paid-for accommodation has to have a working smoke detector and alarm.
  • Make sure you turn off all gas and electrical appliances (except the refrigerator) when you go out.
  • When you arrive at your accommodation, familiarise yourself with the fire exits, assembly points and the location of fire extinguishers.
  • Make sure your accommodation provider supplies you with information about the procedures for emergency evacuation.

For more information on personal safety when visiting the UK see the Metropolitan Policewebsite.


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