Where Are The Safest Places to Live in London?
If you’re moving to London, researching the safest places to live in London can be many people’s first priority. Luckily though, when you compare London to many other big cities in the world, it’s still one of the safest. However, being a city spread over a large area and containing a large population, crime rates are higher here than in some other areas of the UK. Despite this, there are actually some London boroughs that have a lower crime rate than the UK average!
If you’re worried that the safest areas in London will be the most expensive, don’t worry because this isn’t the case. There are plenty of London boroughs with not only lower crime rates, but lower average property and rental costs. Being safe doesn’t have to mean straying out of your budget, especially when living in London.
Many people will live their entire lives in the city without experiencing even minor crime, however no matter where you live, you should always be mindful of taking sensible precautions. Locking your property, fitting alarms, staying aware of your surroundings when you’re in a public place and keeping an eye on your belongings at all time should be a priority. This doesn’t mean you can’t relax, but being sensible can help you avoid being an unlikely victim of crime.
The best place to look for the safest areas in London to live is the Metropolitan (MET) Police’s official statistics. The Metropolitan Police Force is London’s territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London (excluding the “square mile” of the City of London).
The MET regularly record levels of crime in every London borough and their statistics show, overall, where the safest places in the city are.
The Borough of Richmond upon Thames
This leafy Borough of London is home to one of London’s most famous parks. Richmond Park, where wild deer and stags roam free in the park is one of London’s crowning glories and was originally created as a deer park by Charles I in the 17th century. This borough houses some of London’s most attractive areas, especially if you’re a fan of nature and lots of green space and leafy streets. The Borough of Richmond is almost half parkland
The River Thames is a defining characteristic of the area. It runs through over 10 miles through the borough, linking the beautiful Hampton Court Palace, pretty Richmond Town Centre and the famous botanical Kew Gardens with the rest of London. In fact, it’s the only London borough situated on both sides of the Thames.
The crime rate in the Borough of Richmond is 54 crimes per 1,000 citizens.
Districts and Neighbourhoods in Richmond upon Thames
Richmond Town is one of the most attractive in London. Richmond – like many of the best areas of London – has more of a village feel than a city or large town. As well as much of the area enjoying picturesque views across the Thames, you’ll find large houses, wide streets and grand buildings. Visit one of the restaurants along the river, walk up Richmond Hill to enjoy the view – an inspiration to many famous artists and poets, or take a walk in The Green, described as one of the most beautiful surviving urban greens anywhere in England. The town centre hosts high street, boutique, antique and designer shops to meet every need.
There is both a tube and a train station for commuting to central London, as well at nearby Kew Gardens and a train station at North Sheen.
Other areas in Richmond to consider would be:
The Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames is London’s earliest royal borough and located next to the borough of Richmond upon Thames and shares many of Richmond’s characteristics. As well as the area running along the river, there is also parkland, gardens and architectural buildings and monuments of note. Kingston’s ancient market town is the site where many Saxon Kings were crowned and its name means “King’s manor or estate”.
Districts and Neighbourhoods in Kingston upon Thames
This area used to be part of Surrey but became part of greater London in 1965. It’s a pretty suburban area with an architectural mix spanning Art-Deco courts (a perfect example being the Grade II listed Train Station), handsome 19th century townhouses and more modern semi-detached housing estates and residential blocks.
With a popular farmers market, good transport links and a peaceful atmosphere it’s no surprise why the area is popular with families. Central London can be reached from Surbiton rail station in around just 18 minutes, as well as other areas of the UK if you feel like escaping for the weekend.
The crime rate in Kingston upon Thames is 57 crimes per 1,000 citizens
Other areas in Kingston upon Thames to consider would be:
- Motspur Park (West Barnes)
The Borough of Bexley
The borough of Bexley is located in the south east of London and is also an area with lots of green space. Parks like Foots cray Meadows and Danson Park means it’s a great area for families, dog owners and nature lovers. Bexley was also recently named London’s happiest borough in a study produced by data analysts Tekja in 2016 which analysed what people live there tweet about.
You may easily assume that this result may be because it’s one of London’s safest boroughs, but another of London’s safest boroughs, Sutton, was named London’s most unhappiest under the same study. This probably just means it’s not a good idea to take every social media study as fact because we have it on good authority that Sutton is actually a great place to live (see below)!
The crime rate in Bexley is 56 crimes per 1,000 citizens.
Districts and Neighbourhoods in Bexley
Bexley Village is at the heart of the ancient parish of Bexley. The village itself has kept a distinctly village feel. This former mainly farming community was, before the second world war, absorbed as one of London’s furthest towns, bordering the county of Kent. Bexley is located at the end of the metropolitan line, 13 miles east-southeast of Charing Cross.
Other areas in Bexley to consider would be:
- Albany Park
The Borough of Sutton
Although the above mentioned social media study didn’t do much for Sutton’s reputation, you can’t help but wonder if this was a ruse to stop even more people flocking to the borough!
The borough of Sutton is a large borough, located in south west London, 10.7 miles south-southwest of Charing Cross. Like many of the areas on this list there are a lot of green spaces, as well as being the home of two historic lavender fields. It’s an area that continues to be popular with families and it’s not hard to see why. There are plenty of great things about Sutton, including great schools, weekly farmers’ markets, a bustling town and a great sense of community.
The borough is one of the highest performing education authorities in the whole country – in 2016 Sutton Grammar School came in at number 13 in the 100 top performing schools for GCSE results.
There are no london Underground stations in the borough or links to the London Overground network, however, there are several local routes that connect the borough with central London stations London Bridge, St. Pancras International and London Victoria.
The crime rate in Sutton is 57 crimes per 1,000 citizens.
Districts and Neighbourhoods in Sutton
Sutton lies on the lower slopes of the North Downs and boasts several attractive features that appeal to residents and anyone looking to move to this borough. As well as having four conservation areas, it has the largest library in the borough, several public artworks and one of the busiest shopping areas in London – pedestrianised for most of its length.
In March 2017, Sutton town centre was designated one of the first ten Heritage Action Zones by Historic England. This new status will mean that more resources can be unlocked to not only enhance the historic environment of Sutton (including natural conservation areas) in order to keep the distinct architectural nature and features of the area: it will encourage economic growth.
South of the borough the architecture is reminiscent of it’s past as a collection of villages, with many large and well spaced semi-detached and detached houses from the 1920’s and 30’s. The north of the borough is more densely populated
Film crews regularly use the area for film making and there are plans to create the world’s second biggest cancer research campus here.
Other areas in Sutton to consider would be:
- Carshalton Beeches
The Borough of Harrow
As well as hosting one of the most famous boys schools in the UK, Harrow School, where many a now famous prime minister, actor and royal has attended, it’s also one of the safest, safe areas of London. Harrow borough is in north-west London, bordering the beautiful county of Hertfordshire.
With the journey to central London just a short journey away (20 minutes to Marylebone and 12 minutes to Euston via train) means that the area is popular with commuters and families. Harrow has 29 conservation areas, with listed georgian buildings, parks and other areas notable for their “architectural, townscape or landscape qualities”
The crime rate in Harrow is 63 crimes per 1,000 citizens.
Districts and Neighbourhoods in Harrow
Harrow on the Hill
This is the site of Harrow School for boys and it’s an area characterised by its attractive Georgian terrace housing. To the north, the London Underground service along the Metropolitan Line and a rail service provided by Chiltern Railways London to Aylesbury Line into and out of central London. There is also the Piccadilly line station in South Harrow.
Other areas in Harrow to consider would be:
- Rayners Lane
- Hatch End
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