We love London and we like to holiday there every year. Lately, I keep hearing about Knife-crime in London and it clearly is on the rise.

We have a 4-year old child with us and I would like to request some advice on how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of such an ordeal. If the news articles are anything to go by it is becoming a little scary to think of going there right now but every time I have personally been there I have never witnessed any crime at all thankfully.

We are just another couple and there is nothing specific about us that will make us a target for such criminals and when walking around the streets or using public transport my wife does not wear any such jewelry, nor does she carry any expensive bags with her, that will interest some prying criminals.

We do not walk around holding our iPhones in our hands next to a busy road, we avoid congested places and we do not travel on the Tube during rush hour. And we tend to live around South Kensington but obviously as with any other tourists we do roam around the city.

I am not deterred by the media coverage but do care about our child's well being. What can I do to try to make the trip safer?

One more death since this question was asked less than 24 hours ago and people are busy down-voting it as if it was a poor question to ask.

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    What about Acid-Crime? thesun.co.uk/news/4016850/…
    – N Randhawa
    Apr 16, 2018 at 8:05
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    What’s wrong with the question to warrant down-votes? Apr 16, 2018 at 10:25
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    @HankyPanky probably the fact that knife crime still represents a small proportion of the deaths in London. People who live in London tend to view the city as being extremely safe, and see the reporting of higher levels of knife crime when data is cherry-picked to be sensationalist reporting, etc., and feel that in fact the rates are roughly comparable with other big cities. Whether or not that's a fair comment is debatable, but it remains true that, for example, from the statistics I could find, you're more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than knife crime.
    – Muzer
    Apr 16, 2018 at 13:51
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    The victims often have some connection to gangs, drugs, and other criminal activity. Stay away from that and you should be OK.
    – Nick
    Apr 17, 2018 at 22:03
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    The odds of being stabbed on the tube during rush hour are fairly low. Not least due to there not being room to swing a cat, let alone a knife. Violence on the underground normally waits until people have started drinking. Also, don't visit Salisbury, since there's a statistically significant risk of being poisoned.
    – origimbo
    Apr 17, 2018 at 23:55

6 Answers 6


I live in West London, have done so for 30 years, I'm no more concerned about being a victim of knife crime now than I was 10 years ago; I don't even know anyone who has been the victim of knife crime. There may be more instances of late, but relative to the number of people living in London there are not so many instances.

Ask yourself what steps you would take in any city to reduce the chances of being the victim of crime? Stay in prosperous areas, don't go to some places late at night, don't flourish expensive stuff ... London is no different from any similar city and possibly safer than many. I'm visiting Nashville and only this week there have been two car-jackings with the kids still in the cars! Even then I'm not unduly scared for my grandkids. Look at the overall probabilities - and don't leave the keys in the ignition!


You seem to have covered off the key points already. The Met recommends making sure you always face oncoming traffic when walking on the pavement https://www.met.police.uk/crime-prevention/violence/stay-safe-london/ If you’ve not done so already you can sign up to the US ‘smart traveller enrollment program’ https://uk.usembassy.gov/message-for-u-s-citizens-improvements-safety-security-info/ to get security alerts on the go.


To avoid knife crime in London, don't join or associate with a gang, particularly one that deals in drugs. I live in Ilford, East London, an area that is getting an unfortunate reputation as Britain's capital of knife murders. I am not in the slightest worried about being knifed.

At least our country is still generally gun-free.


Multiple retailers offer cut and slash resistant apparel.

For example, here.

The cost and encumbrance of such apparel is generally not worth it. I would suggest doing a cost/benefit analysis on the situation in the UK to determine if it is worth it. Depending on the benefit you place on the minuscule probability that such protection would be necessary, you likely will come to the conclusion that protection of any kind specific towards knife attacks is not reasonable.


It is quite hard to find detailed figures about homicides in London but the BBC has produced a review for 2018


The end of the article is the most relevant from the point of view of statistics. Note that the rate of homicides per 100000 population is not particularly high compared with a decade ago. The age breakdown shows that people most at risk are youngish males, 20-29 the highest followed by 10-19. Male victims outnumber female at every age group apart from 70+ although that figure is not corrected for population size. Somewhat to my surprise the homicides are not concentrated in any particular geographical area. The figures do not differentiate between domestic violence and other types but it is believed that about a quarter might be domestic violence.


Cost benefit analysis? I’m really unsure what the main concern is. The only thing I would advise other people/parents to do Is to act like the mum who held onto her baby instead of being held to ransom by moped thugs But please don’t be too brave- I was asked to get out of my car- no way - window up - drive on

Very different to being outside train station, in broad day light

Don’t challenge people with no morals


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