Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Recent Robberies in Central London

Consular Affairs (CA)

U.S. Embassy London informs U.S. citizens that the Metropolitan Police have informed the U.S. Embassy of recent robberies and muggings in central London.  In several of the incidents, assailants riding motorbikes have tried to snatch mobile phones, laptops, and valuables from female pedestrians.  If you are a victim, the Metropolitan Police recommend surrendering the requested items and dialing 999 as soon as possible for police assistance.

Some Street Safety Tips:

  • Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
  • Discourage unwanted attention. Keep valuables out of sight, items such as expensive watches, jewelry, and phones are prime targets for thieves.
  • Stick to well-lit and populated areas. Muggers are far less likely to target people where there are others around or they are likely to be seen.
  • Walk with a sense of purpose. If you are moving slowly or look lost, you are more likely to become a target.
  • Stay alert. Be aware of the people around you, and trust your instincts.  You are an easier target when you are listening to music on headphones, or talking on the phone.
  • Travel with a group. If you can, try to stay with a group.  There is safety in numbers.
  • If you sense danger or believe you are being followed, take action. Head toward a populated area, such as a cafe, bar, or other well-attended place.  Make noise or call for help!
  • Report an incident immediately to the Metropolitan Police emergency number 999.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and United Kingdom Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • In case of emergency involving a U.S. citizen, please contact the U.S. Embassy in London, located at 24 Grosvenor Square, at + 44 (0)20 7499 9000, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is + 44 (0)20 7499 9000.
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