Staying safe when travelling in London
There are lots of ways to get around and staying safe is important wherever you go.
Staying safe on buses, trains or tubes
Here are some important tips:
- Plan your journey in advance as much as possible. Know where you are going and which stop you need.
- Check the times of the last buses and tubes / trains so you don't get stranded late at night.
- Always try to wait for your bus or train in a well lit place.
- Travel downstairs on buses, particularly if you are alone.
- Keep things like mobile phones, purses, wallets and MP3 players out of sight.
- Take a little extra money in case you get stranded and need to take another bus, train or cab.
- Check where the help points and passenger alarms are and use them if you feel threatened.
- If you feel concerned about your safety on the bus, sit close to the driver. If you are on the tube/train, move to a carriage where there are other people.
- If somebody sits next to you who makes you feel uneasy, stand up and move to another seat.
When on London's public transport network or premises, always:
Act sensibly and treat others as you would like to be treated. Your free travel may be withdrawn by Transport for London if they believe that you have behaved in an anti-social or criminal way. They can withdraw your free travel for behaviour such as:
- Using offensive or threatening language or bullying others
- Playing music out loud
- Damaging your Oyster photocard or letting other people use it
- Committing any type of crime
Remember to also touch in with your Oyster photocard at the start of every journey. If you don't you could lose your free travel.
For more information on the Behaviour Code visit www.tfl.gov.uk/zip
Staying safe in cabs
Travelling by cab in London can sometimes be a good alternative to public transport but there are a number of safety tips you should always bear in mind:
- Always use a licensed taxi (a black cab) or a licensed minicab.
- Book your minicab journey by phone or in a minicab office.
- Never approach or accept a journey from a driver off the street. Only taxis (black cabs) are allowed to pick up customers off the street.
- When your booked minicab arrives, make sure the minicab driver can confirm your name and your destination. Check this before you get in the vehicle.
- Check the driver's photo ID.
- Always sit in the back and if possible carry a mobile phone.
- When you're on the way, phone a friend if you're worried. If you're seriously concerned or you feel threatened by the driver, phone 999 immediately.
You can use TfL's Cabwise service to book licensed taxis and minicabs. Simply text CAB to 60835*, and you'll get two minicab numbers and one taxi (black cab) number in your area sent straight back to your mobile phone.
*Texts are charged at 35p per enquiry plus standard text message rate.
Cycle Task Force
The Met have a Cycle Task Force dedicated to tackling cycle theft and improve cycle security across London. We aim to create an environment where all cyclists and potential cyclists feel safe and secure to enjoy cycling in London by investigating theft and handling of stolen bikes, disrupting the market and trade in stolen and second hand bikes and parts, and participating in a range of London cycle events to help promote cycle security.
There are a number of easy steps that you can take to help keep you bike safe:
- Park your bike where it can be seen - people will also see if someone is trying to steal it. Use designated cycle parking areas.
- Make sure the locks you use catch the bike frame as well as both wheels and the post, or a thief may steal the bike and leave the wheels behind! Also, make sure the post can't be easily cut through, or the bike lifted off it.
- Try not to leave your bike in the same place every day
- Locks can be picked, so face the lock to the ground (but not resting on it) so it can't easily be turned upwards for picking
- Make it impossible for a thief to smash the lock open: if you use a 'D' lock, try to fill the 'D' part of it with as much of the bike as possible. Never leave the lock lying on the pavement, where it can be sledge hammered easily
More information on cycle security can be found on our main website.
Staying safe when walking
You might not always need public transport or taxis to get around London. But if you're walking somewhere there are still things you can do to stay safe:
- Think about the route and where you could go if you felt threatened. The best idea is to head for a public place where you know there will be other people.
- Try to avoid short cuts, using well lit areas wherever possible.
- Keep your mind on your surroundings. Look confident and walk purposefully to your destination.
- Never accept a lift with a stranger or someone you don't know very well even if you are cold, tired or it's late.
- If you're travelling by bus, Tube or train speak to the driver, guard or other member of staff
- For less urgent matters or for general information go to the contacts page on the Transport for London website
- In an emergency dial 999
- Or for other ways to get in touch with the Metropolitan Police visit the how to contact us page on this site.