Have you ever heard of a city where crime doesn’t exist? Believe it or not, a crime-free city is a myth. Crime prevails everywhere, and London, the capital and largest city of England is no exception as it is equipped with some of the most dangerous areas in London.
London has no shortage of violent crimes and criminals. Through this write-up, get enlightened about some of the most dangerous areas in London, United Kingdom, where the crime rate is increasing.
1. Navigating the Most Dangerous Areas in London
Be it in Vatican City- the smallest city, or Tokyo- the largest city, violent crime and criminals exist everywhere. From commerce, education, finance, and health care to fashion, media, and entertainment, London, as a global city, holds and exercises immense prowess in all these sectors.
London also harbors a dark and shady underbelly along with all these bright sides. It is essential to know and understand the entire city to unravel and learn about these areas in London. Be it a result of rising poverty or population, London is undoubtedly facing a surge in crimes.
From violent crimes like gang wars, sexual incidents, murders, and assaults to not-so-violent crimes like pickpocketing and theft, are rising at an unprecedented rate. And with this increased crime, dangerous areas in London are also growing. Previously considered safe boroughs are now experiencing a varied range of crime at a frequent rate.
1.2 Elucidating London Boroughs
Standing tall along the river Thames, the capital of England, London is dissected on the map into 32 segments called boroughs. This fractionated borough arrangement came into existence in 1965 and still exists under the administration and regulation of the London Borough Council.
Now, these London boroughs again come under the radar of classification. Based on population strength area and population density, these London boroughs are again bisected into 12 inner boroughs and 20 outer boroughs.
From assault, rape, and homicide to burglary, knife crime, all kinds of violent crimes prevail in these boroughs, but some seem more dangerous than others.
2. Identifying the Most Dangerous Boroughs of London
Are you new to London or looking forward to visiting it? Then, note the most menacing areas in London, where dawdling might not guarantee a delightful experience. This information helps you to avoid visiting the worst areas in London. Also, you get an idea of where you cannot live in London.
2.1 Westminster– Central London
They are home to magnificent and prominent attractions like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminister, Oxford Street, st. James’s Palace and many more, Westminister records a vast tourist footfall and is considered the foremost tourist destination of London.
Along with harboring a varied range of people and tourist attractions, London’s nucleus also harbors frequent and numerous violent crimes.
Considered the ‘heart of London’ and occupying most of Greater London almost till the West End, Westminister is home to a large working community and a huge tourist population. Therefore, with such a large population residing in one place, friction is bound to rise, with crimes becoming inevitable.
Not so surprisingly, Westminister was consecutively ranked as the most dangerous place in London in 2017 and 2018 by the Metropolitan Police. Besides being known as the best tourist destination in London, it also possesses a negative reputation of being the most dangerous borough in London.
More than violent crimes like sexual offenses, homicides, and assaults, petty crimes like pickpocketing, mugging, and theft offenses are more prevalent and are frequently reported crimes.
2.2 Croydon– South London
Renowned as an impressive commercial hub of London, Croydon is a prominent town in South London, possessing a disturbing reputation of being one of the most dangerous areas. This south London district is troubled with gang culture and fights.
As per the metropolitan police data, Croydon does not only have high knife crime rates but also high gun crimes and is infamous for youth violence. Along with all these crimes, this dangerous borough reports vehicle offenses as its second-most recorded crime. In 2021, the police force registered almost 682 vehicle offenses, only out of 1617 violent crimes.
But what shocked the whole of London and made it to the headlines in February 2021 is the stabbing of 9 people and the murder of 1 in this outer London region. If you want to know more about this spine-chilling, cold-blooded crime, then visit 1 Man killed in another violent incident and know the whole story of this violent act.
Based on these terrifying, violent acts only, Croydon has often been deemed the most violent borough in London.
Even though this town is enlisted in the list of the most dangerous districts, it still has a brighter side, comprising tempting tourist destinations, namely, Art Rebellion Gallery, Wandle Park, and Surrey Street Market. Follow the proverb ‘mind your own business ‘ in this town, and it might not be a dangerous area for you.
2.3 Newham– East London
Located in east London, Newham, you will find fascinating attractions like the Olympic Park, London Stadium, Stratford Circus Art Centre, and many more. This east London town also boasts of hosting the London Olympics.
The question arises as to why this east London borough is on the list while fostering an upbeat environment.
The differentiation between the affluent and impoverished is blatantly evident in this east London town. Along with skyscrapers and luxury high-rise apartments, Newham also houses the neglected, troubled, poverty-plagued neighborhood where violent crimes are rising every day.
With approximately 36,000 crimes reported last year, violent acts against people like gun and knife crimes lead the count, while theft offense is the second most reported incident with a count of 10,668 in this London area. Also, Metropolitan data reports exhibit vehicle offenses as this violent borough’s third most common incident.
2.4 Tower Hamlets– East London
Emerged from the integration of Stepney, Poplar, and Bethnal Green- the three ex-metropolitan areas- Tower Hamlets is considered London’s fourth most dangerous borough and has found a spot on the list.
From wounding and murder to harassment and assault with injury, all these are commonly reported crimes in Tower Hamlets. But out of all these violent crimes, the metropolitan police data suggests knife crimes as the most frequently reported incident in this dangerous borough.
Recording approximately 4500 crimes last year, this London district has earned a negative reputation. Along with harboring dangerous places, this borough also houses poverty-stricken neighborhoods and is often called the poorest borough in London.
Again, don’t forget that this east London district has much to offer besides violent crimes. For example, the intriguing and spooky history of Whitechapel, the hippy neighborhood Shoreditch, and many such tourist-luring destinations.
However, being a crowded town hosting so many different people, there are high cases of pickpocketing and mugging. Don’t bother the sleeping lions,i.e. the gangs. Go on minding your own business, and you should be fine living in Tower Hamlets.
2.5 Hackney– East and North London
Positioned in inner London, covering sections of east and north London, Hackney has some awe-worthy, tourist-entrapping sites, namely, Broadway market and Hackney Empire Museum. But if it is such a praise-worthy, enchanting London borough, why is it mentioned in this ‘most dangerous areas in London’ write-up?
Well, because metropolitan police data tells another tale. Considered the fifth most dangerous area by Londoners, Hackney witnessed reporting almost 4140 crimes in 2021.
Hackney majorly witnesses violent crimes like gun crimes, knife crimes, assaults, and murders. But other than these violent crimes, Hackney has a high theft crime rate as well. Frequent crimes like theft make this London area quite dangerous for common Londoners and tourists.
2.6 Southwark– Central London
With a high violent crime rate of approximately 4000 reported crimes, Southwark is as dangerous as other London boroughs mentioned in this piece.
Situated in central London along the River Thames, this inner London borough comprises towns like Peckham, Bermondsey, and Camberwell, accommodating poverty-ridden populations surviving on meager earnings.
This impoverished lifestyle gave birth to gang culture in this borough, turning it into one of the most dangerous areas. So, with the existence of gang culture came gang wars, which gave rise to violent crimes such as gun and knife crimes, assaults, and homicides.
Aside from such criminal activities, Southworks boasts some renowned tourist attractions like the Imperial War Museum, Globe Theatre, and Tate Modern. Southwark may have garnered notoriety as one of the most dangerous boroughs, but it also possesses some positive aspects. And we can say that as a tourist, you will be fine if you don’t get caught between gang crossfires.
2.7 Brent– North-West London
The presence of the Yardie gang in Church End and Stonebridge of Brent has made this London district a wild place. Infamous as the ‘gun crime capital of the UK,’ Brent reported almost 4000 crimes last year.
Out of this count, violence against people accounts for the highest number, with theft and sexual crimes following. But other than being a dangerous area, Brent also possesses a reputation for housing some well-known landmarks, namely Wembley Stadium, Gladstone Park, Brent Museum, and SSE Arena.
2.8 Ealing– West London
With a crime rate of 18.31 crimes per 1000 people, the West London borough of Ealing is one of the most dangerous areas on the list. Aside from being the fourth most populous borough in London, Ealing appeals to many tourists with its fascinating attractions like Hanwell Zoo, Walpole Park, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, and Northala Fields.
Violent crimes against people are pretty prevalent in this dangerous borough. Along with violent crimes such as gun and knife crimes, vehicle offenses are also the most frequently reported crimes in this borough in London.
2.9 Haringey– North London
Besides being famous for Finsbury Park, Tottenham Hotspur football club, Alexandra Place, and Bruce Castle, Haringey is one of the most dangerous areas in London. Haringey is a residential borough with an alarmingly high crime rate, i.e., 110.1 crimes per 1000 inhabitants.
Last year, only over 3000 crimes were reported, with violent incidents against people taking the lead, followed by theft and vehicle offenses. Not so long ago, in 2014, Haringey was referred to as the ‘Knife crime capital ‘ of London.
Known to many as a poverty-marred region in London, Haringey faces trouble in tackling gang-related incidents as many gangs operate in this borough, especially in Tottenham and Wood Green area.
2.10 Kensington and Chelsea– West London
Called the Royal Borough of London, Kensington and Chelsea have a high crime count, even though they are the most prosperous boroughs in London. Although it is the smallest borough in London, it still houses a vast population and reports a record number of crimes.
Astonishingly, this crowded, compact administrative region reports a crime rate of about 121.8 crimes per 1000 citizens. With so many funds around, how can burglars and thieves sit quietly?
Therefore, the most prominent reason why most of the crimes reported in this small region are theft and burglar incidents. So, if you are on your way to Kensington and Chelsea or staying here, installing security measures and double-checking are in order.
2.11 Lambeth– South London
Westminister and Lambeth- the two London areas are neighbors separated by the River Thames. Lambeth, just like Westminister, has a disturbing standing as one of the most dangerous areas in London.
Like all the other dangerous boroughs mentioned above, this southeast London borough accounts for a large portion of London’s crime rate. Considered one of the most dangerous boroughs, Lambeth witnessed the recording of approximately 4043 crimes, which included gun and knife crimes and other offenses like theft.
Theft incidents are common in this inner London district and are reported more frequently than any other crime. Of course, Lambeth is home to some well-known sightseeing options like the London Eye, Royal National Theatre, and Lambeth Palace; hence, visiting Lambeth is a must as a tourist.
2.12 Camden– Northwest London
Camden also hosts vast crowds of tourists and is home to a large population. Famous for its calm, snazzy markets, musical lineage, and diverse cultural vibes, Camden is a tourist-attracting magnet.
Camden Market, the catacombs of London, Dickens House, the Electric Ballroom, and the London Zoo are some places that act as magnets for attracting tourists. However, along with attracting tourists, Camden also seems to attract many criminals.
As a result of accommodating a large population, petty crimes such as pickpocketing and mugging are very high in this London district. As a result of a crime rate as high as 112.51 crimes per 1000 people, even though not many violent crimes against people are reported in this area.
3. Reason Behind the Rising Crime Rate
Researches state that increasing poverty is to be blamed for this rise in violent crimes. Poverty-ridden children and teenagers are enlisting their names in these prevalent gangs in the hope of earning more money.
These illegal activities pay well, and they get a chance to live a good life, but it costs the price of their lives. The increase in knife crimes, gun crimes, and the death of numerous teenagers and children are the result of these illegal activities and growing poverty.
4. Safety Tips and Security Solutions
Rather than depending on someone, namely police officers, for your safety and security, it is better to be vigilant and cautious yourself. Yes, you may not be able to fight against violent crimes alone, but you might be able to prevent them from happening.
Not going out late at night in shady, sketchy, and dangerous places is in your hands. Again, keeping a cautious eye on your belongings while visiting or staying in any of the above-mentioned dangerous areas in London is up to you. Not getting involved in London’s underground affairs will surely keep you safe.
Explore the most beautiful and famous places but not the most dangerous places. If you are short of beautiful and famous places on your list, visit the eight most beautiful places in London and five fascinating places in London to enhance and increase your experience of exploring London.
5. Boroughs with Not So High Violent Crime Rate
In the beginning, only it is stated that a ‘crime-free city or country is a myth’, but you cannot ignore the presence of regions where the number of gun and knife crimes, sexual, theft, and domestic violence incidents is not so high.
In such areas, violent crimes are infrequent, and trivial theft incidents prevail but not at an alarming number. Some of the safest boroughs in London have found their way into this list because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Found 9.2 miles from central London, it comprises the most dangerous area,i.e., Westminister, and the southwest borough of Richmond is the safest in London. Along with boasting the lowest crime rate,i.e., 54 crimes per 1000 people, Richmond also possesses rich scenic beauty, lavish restaurants, and pubs.
Again, in southwest London and just 12.2 miles from London, blessed with vast green expanses and fast and easy transport options, Sutton is an apt place to settle down.
And being one of the safest places in London with a record of 57 crimes per 1000 inhabitants adds the cherry on top.
With a distance of 13.7 miles from central London, an easy, accessible transport network, and affordable prices, Bexley is a beautiful place to make a home, even though it is located on the outskirts of London.
Like a village with vast fields and greens, Bexley is a peaceful and active region. On top of that, Bexley, with a crime rate of 56 crimes per 1000 people, is considered one of the safest places in London.
With a committed crime record of 63 crimes per 1000 persons, Harrow is one of the safest boroughs in London. Situated in Northwest London, Harrow has one of the best education institutes in London.
Harboring various cultures, large shopping hubs, and cozy cafes, Harrow has it all. From seamless transport options connecting with central London, which is just 13.7 miles away, to an affordable lifestyle, Harrow is the best option for families looking for a place to settle down.
Holding on to its Victorian remanents by showcasing its picturesque streets, this southeast London borough is one of London’s safest and most beautiful places. With a count of 64 crimes per 1000 persons, Bromely, situated 11.2 miles from central London, is the safest place in southeast London.
Crimes and criminals will prevail as long as humans are alive. So, you cannot make a city accessible to crime and criminals. But you can ensure your safety by being aware, cautious, and alert.
And like two sides of a coin, this piece, along with the names of the most dangerous areas in London, also contains the names of some of the safest regions of London as well.
Named as the most dangerous area in London doesn’t mean that you would undoubtedly become a victim of violent crime in these areas, but crime rates do maintain a high curve in these areas. Thus, following two proverbs, ‘precaution is better than cure ‘ and ‘better safe than sorry’, is advised while visiting London as there is a prolonged list of the most dangerous areas in London.