Where to Stay

The Safest Boroughs in London: 5 Low-Crime Areas to Stay in 2024

It’s a question I get asked all the time: where is the safest place to stay in London? The answer is a bit tricky, actually. As with most big cities, London does have crime – and most of that crime is in the same areas that tourists like to visit. Visitors also want to stay near the tours and attractions they want to see in London, so this means most travelers end up staying in the most dangerous areas. Is there no good option?

In fact, there are safer areas in London, and many of them have good options for accommodation. Using public safety data from several police departments in the Greater London area, I’ve put together a list of the safest boroughs in London. A borough is basically a county or district; they vary in size and population, and there are 33 London boroughs in total.

Safest Boroughs in London Hero

As you’ll see, you can certainly stay in safer areas of London, though you’ll exchange that safety for distance from the main sights and experiences of Central London. I’ve also looked at the boroughs nearer to the city center, and have suggested a few you might want to stay in, at the end of this post.

Hopefully, you find this data helpful rather than scary. Safety is an important consideration whenever you travel, but I’ve always felt like London is one of the safest cities I visit. If you have any questions about this data or an area you’re looking at, feel free to ask me in the comments at the end of this post and I’ll try to help you choose a good option for your own sense of security and budget.

This post was originally published in March 2023, and was updated most recently in January 2024.

London Crime Data Sources & Analysis

In terms of sources for this report, I used two different data sets to compile this data: recorded crime data from the Metropolitan Police and crime data from the City of London Police via data.police.uk. This is because the City has its own police force and they do not integrate their data sets with those released by the Met.

When I pulled this data (January 2024), I could only pull City data through November 2023, so I did 12 previous months (December 2022 through November 2023) compared to complete 2023 data from the Metropolitan Police database. Additionally, I had to categorize City of London data into the crime types offered by the Met… so it might not be a perfect integration of data if you asked someone in the industry, but it’s very close to creating comparative data sets between the two police forces in a reasonable time frame after data collection.

Using all that data, I was able to analyze the most prevalent types of crimes and areas where crime is most and least likely to happen. That’s what I’ll cover in the rest of this post.

London Crime Facts for 2024

Before jumping into the safest boroughs in London, I found a few crime facts from this year’s data that I thought were worth sharing:

  • London is getting less safe (as many urban areas are around the world). Among the 10 safest boroughs, total crime rates rose about 6% from 2022 to 2023 (66.6 to 70.8 crimes per thousand residents). Across all of London, crime rates rose about 12% from 2022 to 2023 (116.7 to 130.9 crimes per thousand residents.)
  • Central London is less safe than the outer boroughs. This probably isn’t a surprise: Central London is both more densely populated and there are more visitors to this part of the city – unfortunately, tourists are a common target for some types of crime, including the most common ones in London…
  • The most common types of crime in London are Theft (like “Shoplifting” and “Theft from Person,” which includes pickpocketing) and Violence against the Person (like “Violence with/without Injury,” which means being threatened as part of a crime).

As you probably know, there are plenty of great tips out there for reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime while traveling; Global Rescue (a travel insurance company) has this handy resource if you need a refresher.

The Safest Boroughs in London (Ranked)

Before jumping into the details about each of the safest boroughs in London this year, I thought it might help to show them all in one place; in future years, you’ll be able to see how these rankings change (if they change) as places become safer (or not).

All of these boroughs are well below the average crime rate for London (95 crimes per 1000 people); they are also all located outside Central London. If you live in a city at home, you’re probably not surprised by this – crimes tend to occur in the more densely populated and touristic parts of any city.

Rank
(2024)
Change
(from 2023)
BoroughAreaCrime Rate
(per 1000)
1Richmond upon ThamesWest62.6
2↑2SuttonSouth63.3
3↓1HarrowNorthwest63.8
4↑2MertonSouthwest65.6
5↓2BexleySoutheast68.1
6↑1BromleySoutheast72.8
7↑1BarnetNorth75.3
8↓3Kingston upon ThamesSouthwest76.8
9New!RedbridgeNortheast79.4
10HaveringEast80.8

Now let me go through each of the top five on the table so you can learn more about them – and perhaps decide if you want to stay in those areas during your London trip.

1. Richmond Upon Thames

Safest Boroughs in London - Richmond Upon Thames
Photo credit: Maggie Jones via Flickr

Crime Rate in 2023: 62.6 per 1000 people

For another year, Richmond Upon Thames takes the top spot as one of the safest boroughs in London. This is definitely one of the most picturesque parts of London too, though it is quite far from the central part of the city and has limited transit connections in the London Underground system.

It’s lovely to visit Richmond-Upon-Thames, and it’s probably the only one of these safest London boroughs that I’d recommend staying in, if you’re trying to decide on that. Within the borough, try to find a place right near the stations of Kew Gardens and Richmond, both of which are on the District and Overground lines.

2. Sutton

Safest Boroughs in London - Sutton
Photo credit: Tony Monblat via Flickr

Crime Rate in 2023: 63.3 per 1000 people

Sutton has actually gotten safer in the past year, with a small drop in crime; it has moved up a few spots on the list, too. It is, however, quite far outside Central London, so that’s the tradeoff for being in this area.

When surveyed, Sutton’s residents often remark how they feel a sense of safety, satisfaction, and happiness, which is quite reassuring. Sutton has numerous green spaces, schools, and a town center buzzing with community activities, including farmers’ markets.

In terms of staying in Sutton and traveling into Central London, your options are quite limited: this borough is not on the Underground network nor is it serviced by London area buses. You’ll need to take the train – the Thameslink is your best bet – if you want to commute in and out of the city during your trip.

3. Harrow

Safest Boroughs in London - Harrow
Photo credit: Gellico via Flickr

Crime Rate in 2023: 63.8 per 1000 people

Best known for its affordable living and prestigious schools, Harrow is another one of the low-crime areas in London. Crime rates increased slightly here (only about 2-3%), which is why it lost the #2 spot this year, but I wouldn’t make your decision to stay in this area (or not) based on that alone.

While Harrow is hidden away in the northwest of London with a nice cultural diversity and plenty of amenities for residents, it is quite far from Central London (almost 15 miles). It is, however, on the London Underground map, serviced by both the Piccadilly Line and the Metropolitan Line. (You can also find one of the most iconic London ghost stations in South Harrow!)

Harrow is a better choice for an out-of-central-and-thus-safer area than Sutton, but I still would look more centrally to save yourself time and money traveling in and out each day.

4. Merton

Safest Boroughs in London - Merton
Photo credit: sarflondondunc via Flickr

Crime Rate in 2023: 65.6 per 1000 people

Like Sutton, Merton saw a slight improvement in its crime rates this past year, hence it gaining a few places on the list of London’s safest boroughs. Sitting in southwest London, Merton is an affluent borough comprising of five areas – Wimbledon, Mitchum, Colliers Wood, Morden, and Raynes Park.

It borders the boroughs of Sutton, Kingston Upon Thames, and Wandsworth, which to no surprise are also some of the safest areas in London. Merton is best known as the home of the iconic tennis tournament, Wimbledon, but is also very suburban and quiet.

Because of the amenities and experiences that happen here, it is better serviced by Tube (Wimbledon Park on the District Line) and train than other boroughs this far out of Central London; I wouldn’t stay here unless you’re already planning to attend an event in the area though.

5. Bexley 

Safest Boroughs in London - Bexley
Photo credit: John King via Flickr

Crime Rate in 2023: 68.1 per 1000 people

Bexley has retained a spot on the top five safest boroughs in London, but I can only imagine this is the case because it is so far out of the city that – like many suburban and rural areas in developed countries – crime is just less here.

Lying on the outskirts of southeast London, Bexley is most famous for its low cost of living and immense sense of community among residents. Apart from being one of the safest boroughs in London, one of its biggest ups is its country-city living lifestyle. This London borough has loads of public green spaces, cycling routes, and a lake. Along with this, there are several pubs and cafes in the area. Snapping a photo at the Bexleyheath Clock Tower is another must in this quiet borough. 

Bexley also only has one train line running through the borough, which greatly reduces your flexibility as a visitor, should you choose to stay here. Unless you have a very good reason to stay this far outside Central London and not in one of the other, safer boroughs already on this list, I’d skip browsing the (few) hotels in this area.

Bonus: The Safest Borough in Central London

London Skyline - Battersea Power Station Wide View

If you’re looking for a safe borough in Central London, you’ve noticed that none of the 10 safest boroughs in London are in that part of the city. As mentioned at the top, crime rates are substantially higher in Central London, especially in the borough of Westminster and the City of London.

Nevertheless, I wanted to provide at least one suggestion nearer to Central London, so you could potentially choose to stay there and not have to take the Tube or a regional train for 30-45 minutes each way. There are 13 boroughs in or adjacent to Central London: City of London, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and Westminster

Looking at the data, the safest borough in or near Central London is Wandsworth, in the southwest. (The Wandsworth crime rate is 82 per 1,000 residents.) Wandsworth is a huge borough that’s bordered by the River Thames in the north, and includes the areas of Battersea, Putney, and Tooting Bec. Each of these is an excellent option for staying near the heart of the city while still trying to balance safety.

For another option, look south of central where Lewisham is the next safest borough near Central London. (The Lewisham crime rate is 101 per 1,000 residents.) Adjacent to Greenwich, this borough has good connections to the city by way of the London Overground (connecting to the Underground).

Hopefully, all this data helps you better understand both the safest boroughs in London, and where you can stay in Central London that is safe. Have any questions about these safe London boroughs or where to stay in London? Check out my complete guide for Where to Stay in London, or let me know in the comments below.

Avatar photo

Valerie fell in love with London on her first trip to the city way back in 2011. Since then, she spent a year living in London and visits as often as she can (you can find her recent trip recaps here!). She launched LOMM in 2021 to help other travelers fall in love with her favorite city on earth.

6 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *