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Security : How to protect yourself from Street Robbery

London is a thriving and vibrant capital and as far as major cities around the world go, relatively safe. That said, as in any major city, you have to keep your wits and senses about you. Here are some useful ways from the Metropolitan Police  to keep you and your property safe on the street.

Look confident

You are less likely to be targeted if you look confident. Move with purpose and try to be aware of your surroundings.

Know where you’re going

Plan your route and think about what to take with you, especially If you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before. Keep to busy, well-lit streets, walkways and paths which are more likely to be covered by CCTV. Only take licensed taxis or minicabs booked by phone or a mobile phone app.

Hide it

Keep your mobile phone and valuables out of sight. if you’re using your phone it’s more likely to be snatched from your hand as you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, so look around you. And never leave a mobile, any other device, wallet or purse on the table of an outdoor café, pub or restaurant. Same goes for any jewellery you might be wearing – keep it covered when walking down the street.

Finally – and this is so important to remember – if you’re threatened with violence, don’t risk your personal safety. Property can be replaced, you can’t.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Security : How to respond to a Violent Situation

Knowing how to respond to a violent situation requires split-second decision making and presence of mind – not always easy. However, the Metropolitan Police have compiled a list of things you should do in the highly unlikely event that you find yourself in a violent situation.

It’s important to never lose sight of the fact that your personal safety is the most important thing. Your belongings can be replaced but you can’t. So, when responding to a violent situation, please try to remember the following:

Trust your instincts and if you think a situation is getting worse, try not to get involved.

Look for a way to leave.

If you’re in a building with security personnel, tell them immediately about what is happening.

Put distance between yourself and the other person.

If you are able to, call 999. If you’re unable to call the police during the incident, then call as soon as you can.

If it comes to the worst, you are entitled to defend yourself using reasonable force, but you may be asked to account for and justify any action you take.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Security : Advice if you are caught up in a terrorist attack

The recent events in Westminster and London Bridge  have highlighted that terrorist attacks can happen anywhere and anytime.

Police are reminding the public of some simple steps to help stay safe in the unlikely event of an attack.

Run, Hide, Tell is the easy to remember message that explains what people should do if they are confronted by terrorists: RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there is nowhere to run then HIDE. It is better to hide than confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally, and only when it is safe to do so, TELL by calling police on 999.

Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Neil Basu says: “The chances of ever being caught up in an attack are very small, but it if did happen you would not be thinking straight. You need a simple message that will quickly come to you – Run, Hide, Tell.

Police forces across Britain are training more highly skilled firearms officers that will be available to respond to terrorist threats.In England and Wales around 100 extra officers are being trained each month towards a net total increase of 1500 to be qualified by the end of the programme in April 2018. Some of these officers will have additional, highly specialised training in dealing with terrorism operations.

With the threat level remaining at high levels, the police and security service continue to operate at a heightened state of readiness. However, it is only with the ongoing support of communities that the police can defeat terrorism – the public are the eyes and ears and need them to be alert, but not alarmed.

Police are asking everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency, 999.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Security : Protect Yourself from Pickpockets

The Metropolitan Police offers some advice spotting potential pickpockets and avoid losing your belongings to one.

How to spot a pickpocket

The observers

These include people loitering in public places who appear to be checking out passers-by, paying particular interest to their handbags, shopping bags and where they might place their wallet or purse. For example, be aware of individuals who appear to be focusing their attention on the waist area of others. The Met see this as a strong indication of criminal intent and probable theft. But do bear in mind the fact that some people are naturally shy and do avoid eye contact. Always follow your instincts.

The opportunists

Pickpockets also operate in shops and department stores, where people are more likely to be standing still, distracted and so paying less attention to their belongings, making them an easier target. Be more aware of your surroundings in busy shops and shopping centres because they’re ideal places for pickpockets, as it’s easier for them to brush past people, take items and blend into the crowd.

Team tactics

Pickpockets don’t always operate alone, they may work in teams to distract the target while someone unseen removes the items and blends back into the crowd. Another member might step in as an enforcer in the event of an altercation.

Crowding in

Thieves vary their tactics based on the location and the density of the crowd. One tactic is where a group of them push up against a victim in a crowded shop or street then quickly reach into the victim’s pocket and steal their wallet, phone or purse.

Dirty tricks

Remember, pickpockets are very skilled at what they do. They know all the tricks and are extremely light-fingered with most of their thefts only taking a second or two. One of their tactics is ‘hugger mugging’ where a thief will appear to be over-friendly for no particular reason and hug you while pickpocketing you.

The point of distraction

Pickpocket teams are adept at creating distractions. This could be anything from a game to a loud shout, all designed to avert your attention while an unseen accomplice steals your valuables. So do try not to be easily distracted.

Are you a prime target?

Do’s

  • Do keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times.
  • Do carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest.
  • Do return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it.
  • Do use a purse that’s difficult to open. One that zips or snaps shut is best, and keep it closed.
  • Do use a money belt if you’re carrying a significant quantity of cash.
  • Do conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge.
  • Do keep a list, separate from your wallet and phone, of contact numbers of family in case your phone is stolen.
  • Do keep a photocopy of your airline tickets, passport, credit cards and any other documents that would be impossible or inconvenient to replace if stolen.

Don’ts

1.Don’t hang stuff on the back of a chair.

2.Don’t leave anything on the back of a pushchair.

3.Don’t place your belongings out of sight on the floor.

Remember, having a zipped bag doesn’t mean you’re totally safe. Thieves have been known to walk behind victims while slowly unzipping bags. Yes, they can be that bold. So, never underestimate a pickpocket.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

 

Security in London – Visitors Checklist

busy

The Metropolitan Police offers plenty of sensible advice to visitors which will severely reduce your chances of being a victim of crime.

Top 5 most vulnerable locations

1. Transport hubs and stations.

2. Crowded places / rush hour

3. ATM and cash machine locations

4. Cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs.

5. Schools, colleges and universities

Insurance: always travel with sufficient travel insurance and check the small print in your policy to ensure you are fully covered for loss of valuables or any medical costs or repatriation.

Cash: try not to carry large amounts of cash or valuables. If you must carry cash and expensive items be discreet in public. Wherever possible, carry cash substitutes such as prepaid cards or credit cards. Consider wearing a money belt or ankle pouch. Keep a written record of your credit and bank card numbers, and always keep them in a safe place.

Passports: always keep your passport and travel documents safe and have a copy their serial numbers so that if they are lost or stolen you can report them immediately and get a replacement. It’s a good idea to write down the contact number of your Embassy or Consulate if you need support and advice.

Luggage: never leave your luggage unattended even for a few seconds. Always keep bags in your possession and close to you. Clearly mark all your luggage with your identification and contact number or e-mail and include identification on the inside of your luggage. Try to lock or secure zippers or use a strap around your case or bag to make it difficult for someone to gain access.

Hotels: choose your hotel with care, go for one with a sound reputation, good reviews and security. Never leave valuables in your hotel room instead put your valuables in the hotel safe or with hotel safe-deposit box services.

Mobile phones, cameras and laptops: these items are desirable to thieves so always keep them close and never unattended on a table or in your hotel room. It’s a good idea to keep records of serial numbers and make and model details in case you need to claim on insurance.

Pickpockets: be aware of pickpockets, keep your wallets and purses close to you at all times. Be wary of staged distractions such as street performers and street gamblers if you are jostled, bumped, hugged or crowded by anyone, consider that a pickpocket may be in action. If your pocket is picked, call out immediately for assistance and warn others.

Road safety: take extra care when crossing the road. Always try to cross at marked crossing points and remember to look both ways as traffic including cycles may be coming from a different direction than you are used to.

Cycling on one of the famous “Boris Bikes” in London can be a great way to see the sights but be particularly careful in traffic and don’t get too close to buses and large vehicles as they often turn suddenly and may not see you. Remember that in England we drive on the left side of the road.

Sightseeing: it’s a good idea to have a map or travel guide with you so you can orientate yourself. Keep a note of your hotel details so that if you do get lost you can make your way back to where you started. When in restaurants, bars, theatres or cinemas never leave your bag on the floor or over the back of your chair. Keep it where you can see it.

Only buy theatre or concert tickets from reliable sources and not from ‘touts’ in the street. If you’re out and about at night on foot try to keep to busy, well-lit areas.

Taxis: only use Taxis or registered minicabs it’s a good idea to plan your route before you leave. See related link –  Transport for London website

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

London Security : Metropolitan Police – Visitor Advice

genpolic

What are the laws regarding weapons and drugs?

Possession of any of these items could mean that you are arrested.  Be aware that it is a criminal offence to carry weapons such as knives and guns in the UK. Unlike some European and other countries it is also illegal to carry CS or pepper spray.

Remember that it is against the law to be in possession of ‘classified’ drugs and this includes cannabis, marijuana and hashish.

How do I contact the Emergency Services ?

If it’s a genuine emergency and you require police, ambulance, or the fire department telephone 999 or 112. These numbers are free to call. Try to make sure you know your location so help can be with you as soon as possible.

To report non-urgent crime, contact your local police by calling 101 from within the UK.

What advice would you give to tourists about having a safe night out in London?

A. Although few in number there are some types of bars in the Soho area of the West End that you may wish to avoid. These bars sometimes advertise sex shows and may charge very high prices for non-alcoholic drinks, often served by hostesses. In addition to the cost of your drinks you may also be charged for the company of the hostesses and the drinks consumed by them. So be aware of what sort of premises you are entering and if in doubt don’t go in.

You may be approached by persons offering sexual services for money. They will ask for money first and then make an excuse to leave telling you to meet them shortly at a nearby address. You should have nothing to do with them. You will most likely never see them or your money again. If this happens to you, report it at once to the local police who will deal with the matter sympathetically.

At any restaurant, pub or bar make sure you keep your property close to you. Many venues have clips under the tables, use them to secure your handbag or briefcase and try not to leave them over the back of your chair. Remember not to leave you mobile phone, camera or laptop in open view on the table as you could be distracted and this will provide a thief an opportunity to target these items.

Be wary of taking a drink from a stranger that you haven’t seen prepared in front of you. Never leave your drink unattended even for a moment and if it doesn’t taste right don’t finish it.

If you or your party start to feel strange or unwell then you should get help and seek medical advice.

Be aware of fraud when using bank cards and credit cards. Always keep your card in your possession and never let anyone see your PIN.

When using a street ATM or cash machine be aware of who may be around you, be wary of anyone who approaches you as they may try to distract or pick your pockets.

If your card is retained by the machine report this immediately to the bank and your card provider.

What is your advice about traveling at night on public transport in London?

It’s a good idea to plan how you will get home by checking the time of the last train, bus or tube back to your accommodation.

On a double-decker night bus, sit downstairs or close to the driver where they can see you. Likewise avoid sitting in an empty carriage on trains and the Underground.

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 are illegal and unsafe, always book a cab from a licensed minicab office or over the phone.

We recommend that you avoid walking alone at night in places such as parks and side streets or any unfamiliar environment instead if you must walk stick to busy places where there is a lot of activity, CCTV and good lighting.

How do I stay safe within the hotel?

When you arrive at your accommodation, familiarise yourself with the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits, assembly points and evacuation routes.  Avoid leaving valuables and travel documents in your room and if you have valuables use the safe or hotel deposit services. Make sure your room door and windows are closed and locked when you leave.

I am concerned about terrorism, what should I do if I see something suspicious?

Whilst the risk is low everyone should remain vigilant particularly at major crowded events, at transport hubs and shopping centres. It is especially important that you never leave your bag unattended as this could cause a security alert.

If you are attending a conference avoid wearing your pass outside of the venue and try to meet people in a public area of the hotel or conference area.

It may be nothing, but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related trust your instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 and specially trained officers will take it from there.

In an emergency call 999. If an incident occurs please follow the directions of the emergency services and uniformed staff.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

London Security : Bogus Police Officers

bogus

Groups of criminals sometimes pose as police officers, particularly in the central London area, in order to trick people and steal their money, credit cards and valuables. These individuals wear ordinary clothes and use fake Police IDs to search people and take what they can. If you are stopped by a police officer, ALWAYS ask to see their Police ID.

The ID card will always have:

Photograph of the officer

Name

Identity number

Metropolitan Police Service hologram

It is always worth remembering that police officers would rarely search visitors or tourists unless they suspected some wrong doing. Those that do search are likely to be wearing uniforms and must give you certain information. If you suspect the police officers is bogus, check their ID very closely and demand to see a policeman in uniform. Real police will never confiscate your private property especially money, credit cards and valuables in this manner.

Real Police officers have the right to stop and search anyone but will only do so if they If they think you’re carrying a weapon, drugs, stolen property, or articles to commit criminal damage, if there has been serious violence or disorder in the vicinity or as part of anti-terrorism efforts.

The police officer or police community support officer must explain why you are being stopped, A police community support officer must be in uniform. A police officer does not have to be in uniform but if they are not wearing uniform and they search you they must show you their warrant card.

The police who stop and search you must provide you with certain information including:

Their name and the station where they work (unless the search is in relation to suspected terrorist activity or giving his or her name may place the officer in danger. They must then give a warrant card or identification number)

The law under which you have been stopped

Your rights

Why you have been stopped and searched

Why they chose you

What they are looking for

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here