Rough parts of London

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Andy008 | 02:14 Tue 02nd Aug 2005 | People & Places
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I will shortly be moving to London. What are the dodgiest parts?


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Brixton is for one..
Its funny, you get really nice places next to pretty rough places. Do you know what area you want to live in? I'm in North London and on one side of me is Tottenham which is pretty rough but then there is Muswell Hill & Crouch End and further up Hapmstead which is lovely (and expensive!). With South London, you have Brixton which has a bad reputation next to Clapham which is really trendy. Then, West you have Notting Hill (for example) which has lovely and rough places. It all comes down to money really.
Barking and Dagenham 
City of London 
Hammersmith and Fulham 
Kensington and Chelsea 
Kingston upon Thames 
Richmond upon Thames 
Tower Hamlets 
Waltham Forest 

Generally, south london and east london were considered the areas of most deprivation, but as said above even in the north and west you will find similar areas.  But on the same note, you wouldn't want to be wandering around Leicester Sq or Covent Gdn in the early hours on your own.

If you tell us where you are thinking of living and the area of London you will be working, we could perhaps give more localised advice.

My brother lives on the Isle of Dogs, and my wife and I visit him regularly.

I always count the wheels on my car before I leave.

Vinny, I'm quite offended... I live near Bromley and I think its far from dodgy.. There are some nice places in Bromley.  Also, I wouldn't consider some other places you've mentioned as dodgy.  My friend lives in Earling and some of that is lovely.  I think you get bad parts where ever you go.
butter1, don't be offended. I think Vinny has posted all the Boroughs of London as a joke!
Oh silly me!!!! :-p

Yep only joking.Butter 1.mind you my brother-in-laws a taxi driver in london and several years ago had a gun pointed at him in chelsea and lost all his days takings!!

...but lived to report it ;)
It's difficult to avoid "dodgy" areas in London - wherever you choose to live, you're going to find yourself trekking through the odd rough area twice a day to get to work. Once you've established where the real sink areas are, you can choose to compromise between decent transport, local amenities and distance (preferably large) between your home or your work & the nearest dilapidated housing estate.
Peckham and Elephant and Castle are pretty scary too.
yeah, and wimbledon - the common not the tennis club - one of the Backham children may have been conceived on a park bench there, and there are other things going on too ! The News of the World says, I mean
Westminster, loads and loads of dodgy people!
-- answer removed --

It's curious that, as a visitor, unless there are obvious signs (metal grates over doors and windows), the "dodgy" areas are indistinguishable from the nice areas.  I was dropped off in Brixton during rush hour once by my traveling companion, who had to return our rental car.  I had all our luggage, which I hauled to the Tube station (our plan was to meet up in Russell Square, where we had hotel reservations).  Anyway, I didn't feel unsafe or uncomfortable in Brixton (maybe because I lived in Detroit...?), and a couple of strangers even helped me with my unwieldly suitcases up the stairs.  (When I later related my travels to a British pal, he expressed surprised that I'd braved Brixton alone.)

The one area that *did* look dodgy to me was Goodge Street...I went for a solo walk one December night when I couldn't sleep, and got lost, and after lots of wandering finally found a Tube station.  I remember it was an unstaffed station, and there was a man vomiting into a trash can.  Just lots of unsavory types hanging around, and I mentally chastised myself for walking around alone night like that.  But somehow, when in a foreign city, I had a false sense of security.

I agree that you can't really avoid the dodgy places. I live on the edge of West Hampstead, and have Swiss Cottage and Hampstead (both lovely) on one side, but then Kilburn and Cricklewood on the other, which I wouldn't walk through alone at night.

If you're moving to London, try to move near to one of the following places (I'm not going to mention anywhere south of the river, as I'm a northern girl):

West Hampstead



Notting Hill

Swiss Cottage

St Johns Wood

Primrose Hill



Regents Park (yeh right)

Running out of ideas here....

I have lived in the eastend for 5 years in areas that may be considered dodgy (Dalston and Walthamstow) but actually find them brimming with character and life. I feel no less safe walking there at midnight than I do in covent garden or even Lytham St Annes!!

You will never be totally safe, so if you stop worrying to much you will enjoy London for the rich multicultural society that it is!
A big thank you to Ouisch! for your comments about Brixton. I live there and can think of far dodgier places to live. Brixton is alive and rich in culture and most of the time people just get along. The Ritzy Cinema, Brixton Academy and Brockwell Park along with the  bars and restaurants are brilliant to have on my doorstep. Not everyone's cup of tea but I love it, so there!

The reason I said Brixton is that there was a documentary on it sometime back, which painted a really seedy picture. Maybe it was doctored in such a way, but it did seem like there were junkies all over the place, who carried knives and demanded money and stole your valuables. The doc showed dark alleyways, men being threatened with knives, etc.

An undercover male jounalist was in tears after being threatened by a man who pretended to be a concerned passerby , showing him the way. That was really scary, the way the attacker turned on him. The journalist had to run for his life - it was awful...

But as I said, this could just have been doctored.. it could have happened anywhere...

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