Your Safety : Group
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 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.
Large Events and Crowds
Crowds, especially at night, can be dangerous.
They are an excellent environment for pick-pockets and bag-snatchers. So keep bags tucked firmly under your arm and make sure wallets, phones etc are placed in inside pockets. At such events, it is always wise to keep an eye out for emergency exits and to make sure that you can easily reach them.
If you are travelling in a group, arrange meeting point as it is all too easy to be separated. And finally if the crowd does panic or you find yourself being pushed along in a certain direction, it is almost always safest to calmly go along with the flow; trying to go in a different direction, or pushing to make people move faster will almost certainly add to the panic or create it, and that's not what anyone wants.
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