London is generally a very safe and tourist friendly city and while most Londoner’s operate an “Honesty is the best policy” mantra, you still need to be aware of things around you and use common sense, as would in any other big metropolis in the world.
Taking some sensible precautions is the best way to enjoy the trip and stay safe while keeping your belongings safe too. But it is always a wise idea to be prepared for any unforeseen events during your stay including the loss of something valuable. These simple tips can help you whether you are visiting London for the first time, a frequent traveller or a local resident of the capital.
Out of Sight
Keeping your valuables out of sight and close to you is usually the best way to avoid any unnecessary attention. Don’t leave your things unattended or in the care of someone you do not know. Also avoid carrying large amounts of money or very expensive possessions.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Keep a handy list of phone numbers you would need if personal items go missing like credit cards, mobile phone, passport, travellers cheques and anything else you may be travelling with. Make sure you note down the international codes as well.
Always keep copies of your passport and any other important documents like driver’s license, insurance to show as identification in case you should loose the originals. Scanning them online or emailing them to yourself is also a great way to keep them safe and easily accessible in an emergency situation.
Most electronic gadgets as mobile phones, laptops, and mp3 players have unique serial numbers and can help your chances of finding an item should you misplace it. For mobile phones, each one has a unique IMEI number, which can be used to track or even block it from connecting to any mobile network in the country, thus rendering it useless to any thief.
If any of your property is lost or stolen anywhere in London, you should first contact the nearest local Police Station. You can get this information by dialling 192. (Insurance claims always require a police reference number)
Transport in London
TFL ( Transport for London ) operates all public transport in London including the trains, buses, DLR, river boat and tram and has a TFL Lost & Found Office which operates a really comprehensive system to help unite missing property with its owners. To enquire about or collect your lost items you will have to go to the office yourself, but allow for 2 or 3 working days after the loss. You may need to provide a detailed description and complete an online form to report your missing item.
You are also quite likely to find your missing item should you leave it behind in a Black Taxi as they are usually quite honest and hand lost items to a police station who then hand it over to the TFL Lost Property Office.
The address for the TfL Lost & Found Office is:
TfL Lost Property Office, 200 Baker Street, London NW1 5RZ
Telephone number is: 0845 330 9882 (08:30-16:00, Monday-Friday except Bank Holidays)
So the next time you visit London, make sure you keep your belongings safe and secure while you explore and enjoy this wonderful city. These days, many travellers are choosing to stay in Serviced Apartments as it gives you more privacy and flexibility than a standard hotel room in London.
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