London is now, more than ever before, a twenty-four hour city: at any time there will be thousands of people making their way around, walking, using public transport and staggering menacingly: there are plenty of people around, the streets are brightly lit and most venues and clubs are well regulated.
London is safer than ever before, but even though the chance of being the victim of crime is low, there are plenty of easy steps that you can take to minimise it. The vast majority of crime is opportunistic: as long as you don't appear to be a target you probably won't be treated as one.
The first thing you need to do is to think about yourself and what you are carrying. Always keep keys and extra cash tucked away somewhere, so that if the worst does happen, youíll always be able to get home.
Remember that most crime is targeted at bags and mobile phones. Itís easy to say that you shouldnít carry anything extra, like a camera, an mp3 player or a fancy mobile phone, but, of course these things are there to be used and canít be hidden at home for ever. So, feel free to take them and use them; donít advertise them, keep them in nondescript cases and keep them on your person at all times.
On that note, it's best to carry as little as possible: large numbers of bags are not only attractive to thieves, but are also a lot harder to keep track of.
The most important thing that you have to remember in any party, club or pub
is to keep your drink with you and covered at all times. Keep it right in front of you, or, preferably in your hand as it is all too easy for someone to spike it, even if you just walk a few steps away.
For the same reason it's not a good idea to let strangers buy you drinks. The rest is fairly obvious: always be wary of strangers, no matter how friendly and convivial the atmosphere of the place is. There's no need to be unfriendly, just be aware that you do not know anything about the person and that a late night party is not the best environment for making accurate judgements of character. You should apply the same level of caution and alertness to changes in mood and atmosphere.
It's fairly easy to stay away from trouble in London, but it's also easy to find and the ability to walk away when you feel uneasy is an invaluable aid to safety. This is the one area in which groups of friends can be a hindrance. Ordinarily having one or more friends with you is a huge safety advantage, they'll watch out for you, take care of your drinks and groups are a lot less likely to be mugged or assaulted than an individual. However, you must always remember that you are responsible for your own safety, if you feel uncomfortable with a situation, leave.
Do Not Accept Cigarettes from Strangers
Do not accept cigarettes from strangers, these can be spiked too (paper soaked in formaldehyde, for example) and leave you vulnerable to crime.