12 Most Dangerous Areas in London

most dangerous areas in London
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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 being 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. And through this write-up, get enlightened about some of the most dangerous areas in London, United Kingdom where the crime rate is touching new heights.

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, health care to fashion, media and entertainment, London as a global city, holds and exercises immense prowess in all these sectors.

Along with all these bright sides, London harbours a dark, and shady underbelly as well. And to unravel and learn about these most dangerous areas in London, it is essential to know and understand the entire city. Be it a result of rising poverty or population, London is surely facing a surge in crimes.

From violent crimes like gang wars, sexual incidents, murders, 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 increasing. Previously considered safe boroughs are now experiencing a varied range of crime at a frequent rate.

Elucidating London Boroughs

Standing tall along the river Thames, 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, homicide to burglary, knife crime all kinds of violent crimes prevail in these boroughs, but some seem more dangerous than the others.

Identifying the Most Dangerous Boroughs of London

Are you new to London or looking forward to visiting London? Then be sure to make a note of the most dangerous areas in London, where dawdling in might not guarantee a delightful experience. This information helps you to avoid your visit to the worst areas in London. Also, you get an idea of where you have not to live in London.

For your ease, the article has curated a list comprising the most dangerous areas in London, where being a little alert can help ensure your safety.

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1. Westminster

Central London
Source: Depositphotos

Being 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 huge tourist footfall and is considered as the foremost tourist destination of London.

Along with harbouring a varied range of people and tourist attractions, London’s nucleus also harbours frequent, and numerous violent crimes.

Considered the ‘heart of London’ and occupying the majority of Greater London almost till the West End, Westminister is not only home to a large working community but also accommodates 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 ranked as the most dangerous place in London in 2017 and 2018 consecutively 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 offences, homicides and assaults, petty crimes like pickpocketing, mugging and theft offences are more prevalent and are frequently reported crimes.

2. Croydon

South London
Source: Depositphotos

Renowned as an impressive commercial hub of London, Croydon is a prominent town in South London, possessing a disturbing reputation of being one the most dangerous areas in London. 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 offences as its second-most recorded crime. In 2021, the police force registered almost 682 vehicle offence incidents 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, Croyodin has often been deemed the most violent borough in London.

Even though this town is enlisted in the list of the most dangerous districts, still it has a brighter side comprising of 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.

3. Newham

East London
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Located in east London, in Newham, you will find fascinating attractions like Olympic Park, London Stadium, Stratford Circus Art Centre and many more. Well, this east London town also boasts of having hosted the London Olympics.

The question arises that why is this east London borough, is on the list of most dangerous areas in London while fostering such an upbeat environment.

The demarcation 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 neighbourhood 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 offence is the second most reported incident with a count of 10,668 in this London area. Also, Metropolitan data reports exhibit vehicle offences as the third most common incident in this violent borough.

4. Tower Hamlets

East London
Source: Depositphotos

Emerged from the integration of Stepney, Poplar and Bethnal Green- the three ex-metropolitan areas, Tower Hamlets is considered as the fourth most dangerous borough of London and hence has found a spot on the list of most dangerous areas in London.

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 of this dangerous borough.

Recording approximately 4500 crimes last year, this London district has earned a negative reputation,i.e one of the most dangerous areas in London. Along with harbouring dangerous places, this borough also houses poverty-stricken neighbourhoods and hence is often referred to as the poorest borough in London.

Again, don’t forget that other than violent crimes this east London district has a lot to offer. For example, the intriguing and spooky history of Whitechapel, hippy neighbourhood Shoreditch and many such tourists 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 should be fine living in Tower Hamlets.

5. Hackney

East and North London
Source: Depositphotos

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 being 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.

6. Southwark

Central London
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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, which accommodates poverty-ridden populations surviving on meagre earnings.

And this impoverished lifestyle gave birth to gang culture in this borough, turning it into one of the most dangerous areas in London. 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 of 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 still, it does possess some positive aspects as well. And we can say that as a tourist you will be fine as long as you don’t get caught in between gang crossfires.

7. Brent

North-West London

The presence of the Yardie gang in Church End and Stonebridge of Brent has made this London district one of the most dangerous areas in London. 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.

8. Ealing

West London
Source: Depositphotos

With a crime rate of 18.31 crimes per 1000 people, the West London borough of Ealing is one of the most dangerous areas in London. Aside from being the fourth most populous borough in London, Ealing appeals to a large number of tourists with its fascinating tourist attractions like Hanwell zoo, Walpole park, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, and Northala fields.

Violent crimes against people are quite prevalent in this dangerous borough. Along with violent crimes such as gun and knife crimes, vehicle offences are also the most frequently reported crimes in this borough in London.

9. Haringey

North London
Source: Depositphotos

Along with being popular for Finsbury park, Tottenham hotspur football club, Alexandra Place and Bruce castle, Haringey is also popular as one of the most dangerous areas in London. Known as a residential borough, Haringey has 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 offences. 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.

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10. Kensington and Chelsea

West London
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Called the Royal Borough of London, Kensington and Chelsea have a high crime count, even though it is the most prosperous borough in London. Although it is the smallest borough in London, still it houses a huge 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, making it one of the most dangerous areas in London. With so many funds around, how can burglars and thieves sit quietly?

Thereby, 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, then installation of security measures and double-checking are in order.

11. Lambeth

South London
Source: Depositphotos

Westminister and Lambeth- the two London areas are neighbours separated by River Thames in between. 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 as one of the most dangerous boroughs, Lambeth witnessed the recording of approximately 4043 crimes, which included gun and knife crimes and other offences like theft.

Theft incidents are pretty common in this inner London district and hence is reported more frequently than any other crime. And of course, Lambeth is home to some of the well-known sightseeing options like the London Eye, Royal National Theatre, and Lambeth Palace, hence as a tourist visiting Lambeth is a must.

12. Camden

Northwest London
Source: Depositphotos

Along with being home to a large population, Camden also hosts huge crowds of tourists. Famous for its cool, 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 of the places that act as magnets for attracting tourists. However, along with attracting tourists, Camden also seems to attract a considerable number of criminals as well.

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, Camden has been named one of the most dangerous areas in London, even though not many violent crimes against people a reported in this area.

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.

Now, these illegal activities pay well and they get a chance to live a good life but 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.

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Safety Tips and Security Solutions

Rather than depending on someone, namely police officers for your personal 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, and sketchy 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.

Go around exploring the most beautiful and famous places but not the most dangerous places. If you are short of beautiful and famous places on your list, then visit the 8 most beautiful places in London and 5 fascinating places in London to enhance and increase your experience of exploring London.

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 very rare and trivial theft incidents prevail but not at an alarming number. Some of such safest boroughs in London have found their way in this list because, at the end of the tunnel, there is always light.

1. Richmond

Source: Depositphotos

Found just 9.2 miles from central London, comprising of the most dangerous area,i.e. Westminister, south-west borough Richmond is the safest borough in London. Along with boasting of the lowest crime rate,i.e. 54 crimes per 1000 people, Richmond also possesses rich scenic beauty, lavish restaurants and pubs.

2. Sutton

Source: Depositphotos

Again in southwest London and at a distance of just 12.2 miles from London, blessed with vast green expanses, and equipped with fast and easy transport options, Sutton is an apt place to settle down.

And being one the safest place in London with a recording of 57 crimes per 1000, inhabitants just adds the cherry on top.

3. Bexley

Source: Depositphotos

With a distance of 13.7 miles from central London and an easy, accessible transport network, and affordable prices, Bexley is a wonderful place to make a home in, even though it is located in the outskirts of London.

Almost like a village with vast expanses of 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.

4. Harrow

With a committed crimes record of 63 crimes per 1000 persons, Harrow is one the safest borough in London. Situated in Northwest London, Harrow has one of the best education institutes in London.

Harbouring various cultures, along with large shopping hubs and cosy 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.

5. Bromley

Holding on to its Victorian remanents, by showcasing its picturesque Victorian streets, this southeast London borough is one of the safest and most beautiful places in London. With a count of 64 crimes per 1000 persons, Bromely situated 11.2 miles from central London is the safest place in southeast London.

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Closing of the Gory Act

Crimes and criminals will prevail as long as humans are alive. So you cannot really make a city free of 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. As it is not been possible to name all the most dangerous areas in London and the safest ones at the same time, thus the article has compiled only the most dangerous ones and the safest ones in this article.

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.

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  1. All in all, it was nice getting a tour of London from a certain perspective. Nobody really thinks of the crimes or how dangerous a place like London (once supposed to be the financial capital of the world) can be. Good write up!


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