I have recently moved to SE1 (Borough area) and I love the area for the atmosphere and the fact it is very lively etc (moved from an area of West London that was too quiet for me!) I am a lot closer to my work and to things happening and I really like my flat. The problem is, I am a little nervous with the recent news stories about the stabbings in the SE1 area :( I know that these things happen everywhere (I have moved from Hammersmith and a young guy was killed there not so long ago, which was all over the news), but all the same it has made me a little apprehensive about having SE1 as my home, even though there is a lot to like about it.
SE1 is a great place to live.
It's also very BIG, so there are areas and areas. Some of them are less savory than others. And I'm sure you can get stabbed pretty much anywhere if you are foolish. Most of the areas we Se1-Forum-ers frequent are properly lit, busy with buses and people, and we dont go into the estates at two oclock in the morning looking for people to smoke crack cocaine with.
To add to what Jackie has said, so long as you take the usual London precautions (don't go down dark unlit alleys, don't amble around late at night talking on your mobile phone, etc.) you'll be just fine.
As I have said in another thread I have lived in SE1 for 17yrs and choose to have my family here. I have never felt overly concerned about my own safety on the streets of SE1, in fact the few streets I might have thought twice about walking alone in the past are no longer hold concerns for me because of the greater residential population. I do however worry about my sons saftey, the stabbing victims both locally and over london as a whole are in the main male and generally young male, so unless you fall into that catagory I wouldn't be overly worried about the risk of being stabbed in the street. Despite my concerns for my sons I am a mum I am entitled to worry, I do not regret my choice of raising them here I think the benefits have outwiegh the disadvantages. Enjoy living in SE1, I have.
Unless you're a teenage male living on a council estate, probably not caucasian and probably involved in drugs, guns and knives then SE1 is as safe a place as you could ask for.
Not least there is a very large immigrant population (from all sorts of parts of the world) who have a much more traditional approach to life - particularly towards women and older people and are thus likely to stand up for you on buses, help you with your luggage on the tube and otherwise stick up for you.
Dark alleyways are bad in Chipping Camden, Alnwick and London.
Hi unlikelyheroine, I also moved to SE1 from Hammersmith about six weeks ago. I don't feel that much less safe in SE1 than I did in W6 - and the only reason I felt more safe in Hammersmith was because I'd lived there for 25 years and knew all the streets quite well. I think that, as other posters have said, if the usual London precautions are taken then the area is pretty safe.
Hi Unlikely Heroine, I moved to SE1 last year and felt a bit scared and lost for the first month or so. But now I've found that it's a wonderful, friendly place to live and, as the streets become familiar, I'm more and more confident (though, as other posters have said, any big city requires a bit of streetwise commonsense.)
I'm an "older" woman, I guess - anyway I'm in my fifties and don't dye my hair - and I can confirm what the Mapmaker says. Far more courtesy from kids in the street and on buses than I ever knew in the leafy suburbs. And passers-by smile at each other!
If i were a mum I might be less positive, but I hope I'd take Jac's sensible, balanced view.
Hope you'll hang in there, get out and meet your neighbours, and enjoy :)
I saw some stats recently that showed that while parts of SE1 have probems with things like ill health and unemployment, we are a good part of the borough for crime (though there are crime hotspots around the Elephant and Waterloo station, which is to be expected).
The area around Blackfriars Road is particuarly good for crime stats, it's a very safe place to live.
It's a good area in which to live, and there are corners of Hammersmith that strike me as less safe than most parts of this area. I was offered crack cocaine on Fulham Palace Road once, but never in SE1. Not a disappointment! Bad things can happen anywhere, but the worst thing that's happened to me in my time here is that someone threw a yoghurt at me off the top of a block of flats. I see more feral kids on Oxford St than round here, and I find people locally for the most part friendly and unpretentious.
Zoe, can you remember where you saw the stats on crime in SE1? I work in the area and I am thinking about buying a flat here, but so far I have only been able to find crime stats by council ward, which is too big an area to be terribly helpful.