Crime And Police In The United Kingdom

Below you will find a general summary of the crime situation and what to expect when purchasing a property in the UK.


A British “Bobby” or policeman in typical uniform.The United Kingdom is often regarded by foreigners and nationals as an over-policed state. With an unprecedented amount of speed cameras policing most roadways, rules and regulations are regularly enforced to keep public order.

Despite these measures, some parts of the country still suffer from drink/drug-related crime as well as the usual inner city crimes of theft, mugging and gang fights. It is important to avoid such places, particularly at night, while keeping a healthy perspective on the fact that both urban and rural England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are largely safe and civilised places to be. In fact, they often offer the best of polite behaviour that the British have been so famous for over the years.

As in every country, certain precautions need to be made to ensure your stay in the UK as crime-free as possible:

  • Don’t wear expensive-looking jewelry and avoid the general appearance of affluence
  • Travel light. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
  • Carry the minimum amount of valuables necessary and find a place or places to conceal them.
  • Your identity cards, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. When you have to carry them, try to hide them in several places rather than putting them all in one wallet or pouch.
  • Avoid handbags, bum bags and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves, particularly in busy locations. Inside pockets and a sturdy shoulder bag with the strap worn across your chest are somewhat safer. One of the safest places to carry valuables is in a pouch or money belt worn under your clothing.
  • Leave nothing visible in a parked car
  • Don’t walk alone at night, particularly in secluded, quiet places
  • Keep the doors and windows of your property locked, preferably at all times, particularly in built up areas
  • Install an alarm system
  • Get to know your neighbours as they may cooperate in keeping aware of any suspicious happenings or people near your property

Law enforcement is undertaken by individual police forces within each local authority, ensuring a localised and immediate service to the community. The police are regulated by the policing laws of Great Britain under the Home Office, a government department that exercises control over the police force at a national level.

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