10 Safest Areas To Live In London 2024 (With Data!)

Is London safe? That’s often the question on everyone’s lips when you move to London for the first time. The answer to this question, is yes. London is safe compared to other major capital cities across the world. Of course, there are some areas which are safer than others, but in this post we will break down the safest areas to live in London in 2024.

According to recent research by crime rate, the safest borough in London is Richmond Upon Thames. This area has a low crime rate per capita compared to the rest of the city. Unsurprisingly, it’s a wealthy suburban borough in Greater London.

Is London safe to live in?

Yes, by and large London is safe city to live in. Anecdotally, as a London of many years I have never been a victim of crime.

That said, the crime rate in London is around 20% higher than other areas of the UK. The most common crime in Central London is petty theft. This is usually due to pickpockets and phone stealing in Central London tourist hot-spots in areas such as Westminster, Camden, and Lambeth.

It’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and follow the personal safety guidelines set out by the Metropolitan Police.

Is North or South London safer?

Both North and South London have a mixture of both safe areas and not so safe areas. When moving to London, I wouldn’t base your choice on living either North or South of the river on whether each zone is safer overall.

Choose your neighbourhood (or borough, as they are known in London), based on its own merits rather than limiting your search to either North or South London. They both have their pros and cons.

Which is the safest area to stay in London?

Most London hotels are based in Central London, and although this area is ‘not safe’ in terms of the rates of petty crime such as pickpocketing, you will be staying where most other tourists are staying. Staying in Central London also means that you are close to attractions, and less likely to need to take long journeys by public transport at night to get back to your hotel room.

That said, the safe areas to live in London are, by proxy, considered to be safe places to stay in London too. So if you’d prefer to search for an Airbnb in a safe suburban area from the list below, that would also be a sensible choice.

Safest areas to live in London

The overall crime rate in London in 2022 was 95 crimes per 1,000 people. The most common crimes were violent and sexual offences, which happened to roughly every 28 out of 1,000 residents. So how do the safest areas to live in London compare to this overall statistic? Let’s get into it!

Richmond Upon Thames

1. Richmond Upon Thames

Richmond is consistently voted the best place to live in London, it’s no surprise that the rich and famous choose to live here. There’s beautiful architecture, a winding river, and of course the great Richmond Park.

In 2022, the overall crime rate in Richmond upon Thames was 60 crimes per 1,000 people. In comparison, London’s overall crime rate is 95 per 1,000 residents. That means that the crime rate in Richmond Upon Thames is a whopping 37% lower than the London average.

Even more interestingly, the crime rate in Richmond Upon Thames in 2022 was 28% lower than the England, Wales & Northern Ireland overall figure.

Start your house search in Richmond Upon Thames if safety is your prime concern, but be warned- the prices of housing in this borough are extremely high.

Harrow

2. Harrow

Harrow is the second-safest borough in London. It’s well known for it’s schooling opportunities, green space, and as of 2022, it’s low crime rate. It’s also another millionaire favourite- Harrow has the third highest number of millionaires compared with other London boroughs.

In 2022 the overall crime rate in Harrow was 60 crimes per 1,000 people. This is very similar to the Richmond Upon Thames crime rate, and again is 37% lower than the overall London crime rate.

That said, the most common crimes in Harrow are violence and sexual offences, with 5,149 offences during 2022.

3. Bexley

Bexley is the third safest borough in London, with a reported 64 crimes per 1,000 people in 2022. This is 33% lower than the London rate of 95 per 1,000 residents. Like Harrow, the most common crimes in Bexley are violence and sexual offences, with 6,032 offences during 2022.

The borough is known for having a picturesque feel to it, and Bexley Village is particularly charming. With riverside views and great transport links, it’s easy to see why this is a popular residential area on the outskirts of Greater London.

The housing in Bexley is relatively more affordable than in other safe areas of London- no doubt due to the fact that its location is on the outskirts of London.

4. Sutton

A popular suburban borough, that attracts lots of families, Sutton is well connected to London without being right in the middle of the city.

Sutton is among the top 5 safest boroughs in London. With an overall crime rate of 65 crimes per 1,000 people reported in 2022. This is 32% lower than the London rate of 95 per 1,000 residents.

Sutton’s least common crime is possession of weapons, with 89 offences recorded in 2022. It’s great that possession of weapons is not a frequent crime in Sutton. However, this figure is an increase of 29% from 2021, which is a fair increase in this suburban neighbourhood.

Kingston Upon Thames

5. Kingston Upon Thames

Kingston is another borough that sits on the outskirts of the city. It’s not accessible by The London Underground, but there are plenty of other transport links, including trains. It’s attractive, green, and again has beautiful riverside views.

In Kingston upon Thames, the crime rate in 2022 was 66 crimes per 1,000 people. This is favourable when compared with London’s overall crime rate. In fact, it’s 31% lower than the London rate of 95 per 1,000 residents.

The most common crimes in Kingston upon Thames are violent and sexual offences, with 3,484 offences during 2022. The least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 83 offences recorded in 2022. However, as with Sutton, this is a worrying increase of 20% from 2021’s figure of 69 crimes.

Wimbledon Common

6. Merton

Merton is a South London borough encompassing areas such as Wimbledon (including the particularly safe and affluent area of Wimbledon Village), Morden, Mitcham and Raynes Park. I used to live in Morden myself, and mostly felt safe in the area.

Merton makes it into the top 10 safest areas to live in London, and the overall crime rate in 2022 was 67 crimes per 1,000 people, 29% lower than the average London rate. The most common offences in Merton are violent and sexual offences, with 4,640 offences during 2022 in the area.

7. Bromley

An area well known as a family-friendly suburb, Bromley is another top 10 location. It’s the largest borough in Greater London, and is 59 square miles. Originally part of Kent, Bromley is very much on the outskirts in London, but conveniently has fantastic transport links into the city.

The overall crime rate in Bromley in 2022 was 68 crimes per 1,000 people, 28% lower than the London rate. That said, in January 2022, Bromley had the worst crime rate in London for criminal damage and arson, with 201 crimes reported in that month, and a crime rate of 0.60 per 1,000 inhabitants. In Feburary 2021, it was also named as the most prolific area for shoplifting, recording 152 crimes in that month, at a rate of 0.46 per 1,000 residents.

Finchley

8. Barnet

Barnet is home to areas such as Golders Green, Mill Hill, Edgware and Finchley. It’s a mostly residential area, and is again a borough in the outskirts of London, but with good transport links and links with The London Underground.

A top 10 safest location, the crime rate in Barnet was 70 crimes per 1,000 people, 27% lower than the London rate of 95 per 1,000 residents.

That said, in January 2022, Barnet had the worst crime rate in London for burglary, with 244 crimes reported that month, and a crime rate of 0.62 per 1,000 inhabitants. If burglary is a particular worry for you, you may wish to consider a different area. In September 2022, Barnet was also the worst area in London for vehicle crime, recording 467 crimes that month.

Wandsworth

9. Wandsworth

The borough of Wandsworth is a popular residential area- with good reason! With great transport links, cute cafes and eating spots, and the lowest council tax in London. It covers well known spots such as Tooting, Balham, Battersea and Putney.

In 2022 Wandsworth reported 72 crimes per 1,000 resident, 24% lower than the London average rate. But that said, in June 2021, Wandsworth had the worst crime rate in London for burglary. There were 223 burglary-related crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.68 per 1,000 inhabitants.

10. Havering

Havering is a suburban residential area right on the very outskirts of London. It covers areas such as Romford and Upminster. It has a lower population density than other London Boroughs as large areas are parkland and 23 square miles is Metropolitan Green Belt protected land.

In 2022 the overall crime rate in Havering was 74 crimes per 1,000 people. However, it sadly appears that the crime rate is increasing. The most common crimes in Havering are violent and sexual offences, with 6,510 offences during 2022. This is 8% higher than 2021’s figure. The least common crime in the area is possession of weapons, however, there was a 30% increase in this particular crime when compared to 2021.

Top tips for staying safe in London

When you move to London, you’ll likely be travelling all over the place, and it’s best to have personal safety at front of mind when you live in the city. Here’s some top tips I picked up as a Londoner…

Take care of your belongings

With the most prevalent crime in London being petty theft, be sure to keep your eyes on your belongings at all times when out in public.

That means in tourist hot-spots, on the tube, and when using your phone. Make sure that you don’t keep valuables in your pockets, and keep any bags securely fastened and zipped to avoid the attention of any opportunistic pick pockets.

Don’t walk around at night

As a rule of thumb, it’s not safe to walk around London at night as a solo female. Unfortunately that means that after dark, you should always travel by taxi or another form of transport. The cost of a taxi or Uber is always worth it in this situation.

As a male, you can probably safely walk around some areas of London at night, but it is not recommended. Follow personal safety guidelines and take a cab. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Keep doors and possessions locked

When you live in London, get used to locking your doors and windows, and closing your windows when you are not at home. That includes using a deadbolt lock at night if you have one.

You should also keep your bike locked, and also consider using a steering wheel lock if you drive a car and need to park it on the street. A lock won’t always deter thieves, so if you can park your bike indoors or in an area that is not visible from the road, this is the best option.

Use doorbell cameras where needed

A Ring doorbell camera can work well as a deterrent to burglars, as it instantly records video footage when activated by movement. Even in the safest areas to live in London, a doorbell camera could be a good investment.

If you park a car in a driveway, or would like extra peace of mind, the doorbell camera could be a consideration for added security.

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