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Worried Mum

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Thursday 19 September 2013 1.28pm
I am after some local peoples advice, my daughter has just moved into KCL halls in Great Dover Street. I was not too happy obviously after 2 days of her moving in someone was mugged of their phone behind the halls.
What is street crime like is the area and are there some places that should be avoided ? Many thanks I hope I have not offended anyone, just a worried mum!
Thursday 19 September 2013 2.24pm
Hi Hippichic,
welcome to the forum.

Rest assured, the Great Dover St area is relatively safe. Provided your daughter takes reasonable common sense precautions she should be fine - things like not walking along texting or looking at her phone, being aware of her surroundings, keeping her bag close by. Most thefts are opportunistic, someone will have their phone out and a thief will snatch it in passing.
The area is well lit, and quite busy on the main roads.

Of course you will worry about her, but try not to. I do hope she has a great time at KCL, I went there many years ago.
Thursday 19 September 2013 2.41pm
Hi Ms Chic,

Great Dover Street, in common with most of SE1, suffers from many of the same problems of most urban areas.

It's OK. There is some street crime (you can check out some of the stories of bicycle-based thieving scum elsewhere on the forum) but it's definitely not bad.

I'm guessing your daughter's new to living in a city and I hope she'll love it.

It is useful to have a few 'street smarts' to make the most of life here. Other posters will doubtless have suggestions, but here are a few:
a) stay on well-lit and trafficked streets at night (which shouldn't be a problem given the location of the halls).
b) don't wave expensive 'phones around.
Particularly when she's getting used to the area, use a paper A-Z or a paper printout. I've never heard of someone having an A-Z stolen and it's definitely better to consult a book than a phone to look at a map.
c) be aware who's around and if you don't feel safe go into a shop or takeaway for a few minutes. It's rare to be very far from one.

Having said all that, it's an OK area and you and your daughter definitely shouldn't be afraid.
Thursday 19 September 2013 3.52pm
Some good suggestions.

I would also suggest:

- walk confidently like you know where you are going even if don't (checking an A-Z is fine, but do it somewhere well lit with people around)

- to the extent you can, walk with other students, house mates, etc. if out late at night

I definitely don't think you should worry. A little bit of savviness will go a long way to keeping your daughter safe.

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Thursday 19 September 2013 3.58pm
Hi There Hippichic,

I can't really add much to the excellent advice given by Rambling Phil or se1chap, however I would advise your daughter to be aware of using her phone if she's just coming out of a tube or train station, which many people tend to do.

I have never felt unsafe or threatened around the SE1 area. I don't feel it's worse than many other suburbs in London. The Great Dover Street area is generally safe, with lots of passing traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian.

I think it's all about common sense and keeping valuables hidden and taking the usual sensible precautions.
Thursday 19 September 2013 4.34pm
Thank you for a warm welcome and the good advice.
I have told her never to go out alone in the evening but I will also mention phone and Ipod security.
I will be visiting her once a month so it will be nice to get to know the area, first visit in a few weeks, Borough Market,looks great! :)
Thursday 19 September 2013 5.46pm
Dear hippichic,

I echo everything that my fellow SE1-ers have already said, and would like to provide the additional reassurance of me - as a lady frequently on her tod - regularly walking that route quite late at night (10/11pm-ish) on my way home from work (sometimes via the Roebuck, which is just down the road from the halls) and never having had any problems. Naturally, I'm careful, but I don't feel I need to be any more careful in SE1 than anywhere else in London I might be.

Best wishes, McQueen
Thursday 19 September 2013 8.27pm
Hi Hippichic,

I'd like to echo McQueen's reassurances - I am a young woman and I frequently walk on my own late at night throughout SE1 to get home. I have never felt unsafe here, but I have never been complacent. Where ever you are in London you need to be streetwise, but I can safely say that I feel more unsafe in my home-town (North of London) than I ever have in SE1.

Enjoy SE1 when you visit - hopefully you and your daughter will love it here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!
Friday 20 September 2013 8.50am
Ditto to the last couple of comments have lived in Se1 for over 20 years and would not be worried about being out on my own even at night. I might walk a slightly longer walk rather than take short cuts down some of the back streets but I think that would apply to just about any town or city in the uk. So i think saying never go out on your own is a bit over cautious though not a bad idea whilst you are getting to know the area.

Whilst there might be some truth about a-z not being stolen I think looking at one makes you look more like a tourist and tourist often have money on them so i would think that could (rather than would) make you a target.

Just tell her to keep her wits about her and she will be fine and she will have a fabulous time in a great part of our wonderful capital.
Friday 20 September 2013 9.54am
I lived in GDSA last year. There were one or two muggings on Tabard Street behind the halls during the first week or two, I think local thieves are probably all too aware that new students are arriving from areas where they haven't had to be quite as street smart.

However, I frequently walked around the area both with friends and by myself well into the early hours, and never came across any crime. Possibly suggest to your daughter that she walks down Borough High Street then Great Dover Street, rather than cutting through Tabard Park, if she is coming from the direction of Guy's/London Bridge - these two roads have a 24 hour bus route and plenty of traffic and pedestrians so the chances of being mugged/attacked are slim.

It's a great area, and I'm sure she'll enjoy it!
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