Context of London

London is the capital and largest city of England, and the United Kingdom, with a population of around 8.8 million, and the largest city in Western Europe by metropolitan area, with a population of 14,800,000. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea and has been a major settlement for nearly two millennia. The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains its medieval boundaries. The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries hosted the national government and parliament. Since the 19th century, the name "London" also refers to the metropolis around this core, historically split among the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, which since 1965 has largely comprised Greater London, which is governed by 33 local authorities and the Greater London Auth...Read more

London is the capital and largest city of England, and the United Kingdom, with a population of around 8.8 million, and the largest city in Western Europe by metropolitan area, with a population of 14,800,000. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea and has been a major settlement for nearly two millennia. The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains its medieval boundaries. The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries hosted the national government and parliament. Since the 19th century, the name "London" also refers to the metropolis around this core, historically split among the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, which since 1965 has largely comprised Greater London, which is governed by 33 local authorities and the Greater London Authority.

As one of the world's major global cities, London exerts a strong influence on world art, entertainment, fashion, commerce and finance, education, health care, media, science and technology, tourism, transport, and communications. Europe's most economically powerful city, it is one of the major financial centres in the world. With Europe's largest concentration of higher education institutions, it is home to some of the highest-ranked academic institutions in the world—Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics in social sciences, and the comprehensive University College London. London is the most visited city in Europe and has the busiest city airport system in the world. The London Underground is the oldest rapid transit system in the world.

London's diverse cultures encompass over 300 languages. The 2023 population of Greater London of just under 10 million made it Europe's third-most populous city, accounting for 13.4% of the population of the United Kingdom and over 16% of the population of England. The Greater London Built-up Area is the fourth-most populous in Europe, with about 9.8 million inhabitants at the 2011 census. The London metropolitan area is the third-most populous in Europe, with about 14 million inhabitants in 2016, granting London the status of a megacity.

London has four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the combined Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and also the historic settlement in Greenwich, where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, defines the prime meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and Trafalgar Square. London has many museums, galleries, libraries, and cultural venues, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library, and numerous West End theatres. Important sporting events held in London include the FA Cup Final, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and the London Marathon. In 2012, London became the first city to host three Summer Olympic Games.

More about London

Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 8799728
  • Area 1572
History
  • Prehistory

    In 1993, remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore upstream from Vauxhall Bridge.[1] Two of the timbers were radiocarbon dated to 1750–1285 BC.[1] In 2010, foundations of a large timber structure, dated to 4800–4500 BC,[2] were found on the Thames's south foreshore downstream from Vauxhall Bridge.[3] Both structures are on the south bank of the Thames, where the now-underground River Effra flows into the Thames.[3]

    ...Read more
    Prehistory

    In 1993, remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore upstream from Vauxhall Bridge.[1] Two of the timbers were radiocarbon dated to 1750–1285 BC.[1] In 2010, foundations of a large timber structure, dated to 4800–4500 BC,[2] were found on the Thames's south foreshore downstream from Vauxhall Bridge.[3] Both structures are on the south bank of the Thames, where the now-underground River Effra flows into the Thames.[3]

    Roman London  Reconstruction drawing of Londinium in 120 AD

    Despite the evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans around 47 AD,[4] about four years after their invasion of 43 AD.[5] This only lasted until about 61 AD, when the Iceni tribe led by Queen Boudica stormed it and burnt it to the ground.[6]

    The next planned incarnation of Londinium prospered, superseding Colchester as the principal city of the Roman province of Britannia in 100. At its height in the 2nd century, Roman London had a population of about 60,000.[7]

    Anglo-Saxon and Viking-period London  The Lancastrian siege of London in 1471 is attacked by a Yorkist sally.

    With the early 5th-century collapse of Roman rule, the walled city of Londinium was effectively abandoned, although Roman civilisation continued around St Martin-in-the-Fields until about 450.[8] From about 500, an Anglo-Saxon settlement known as Lundenwic developed slightly west of the old Roman city.[9] By about 680 the city had become a major port again, but there is little evidence of large-scale production. From the 820s repeated Viking assaults brought decline. Three are recorded; those in 851 and 886 succeeded, while the last, in 994, was rebuffed.[10]

    The Vikings applied Danelaw over much of eastern and northern England, its boundary running roughly from London to Chester as an area of political and geographical control imposed by the Viking incursions formally agreed by the Danish warlord, Guthrum and the West Saxon king Alfred the Great in 886. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Alfred "refounded" London in 886. Archaeological research shows this involved abandonment of Lundenwic and a revival of life and trade within the old Roman walls. London then grew slowly until a dramatic increase in about 950.[11]

    By the 11th century, London was clearly the largest town in England. Westminster Abbey, rebuilt in Romanesque style by King Edward the Confessor, was one of the grandest churches in Europe. Winchester had been the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, but from this time London became the main forum for foreign traders and the base for defence in time of war. In the view of Frank Stenton: "It had the resources, and it was rapidly developing the dignity and the political self-consciousness appropriate to a national capital."[12]

    Middle Ages  Westminster Abbey, as seen in this painting (by Canaletto, 1749), is a World Heritage Site and one of London's oldest and most important buildings.

    After winning the Battle of Hastings, William, Duke of Normandy was crowned King of England in newly completed Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.[13] William built the Tower of London, the first of many such in England rebuilt in stone in the south-eastern corner of the city, to intimidate the inhabitants.[14] In 1097, William II began building Westminster Hall, close by the abbey of the same name. It became the basis of a new Palace of Westminster.[15]

    In the 12th century, the institutions of central government, which had hitherto followed the royal English court around the country, grew in size and sophistication and became increasingly fixed, for most purposes at Westminster, although the royal treasury came to rest in the Tower. While the City of Westminster developed into a true governmental capital, its distinct neighbour, the City of London, remained England's largest city and principal commercial centre and flourished under its own unique administration, the Corporation of London. In 1100, its population was some 18,000; by 1300 it had grown to nearly 100,000.[16] With the Black Death in the mid-14th century, London lost nearly a third of its population.[17] London was the focus of the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.[18]

    London was a centre of England's Jewish population before their expulsion by Edward I in 1290. Violence against Jews occurred in 1190, when it was rumoured that the new king had ordered their massacre after they had presented themselves at his coronation.[19] In 1264 during the Second Barons' War, Simon de Montfort's rebels killed 500 Jews while attempting to seize records of debts.[20]

    Early modern  Map of London in 1593. There is only one bridge across the Thames, but parts of Southwark on the south bank of the river have been developed.

    During the Tudor period, the Reformation produced a gradual shift to Protestantism. Much of London property passed from church to private ownership, which accelerated trade and business in the city.[21] In 1475, the Hanseatic League set up a main trading base (kontor) of England in London, called the Stalhof or Steelyard. It remained until 1853, when the Hanseatic cities of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg sold the property to South Eastern Railway.[22] Woollen cloth was shipped undyed and undressed from 14th/15th century London to the nearby shores of the Low Countries.[23]

    Yet English maritime enterprise hardly reached beyond the seas of north-west Europe. The commercial route to Italy and the Mediterranean was normally through Antwerp and over the Alps; any ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar to or from England were likely to be Italian or Ragusan. The reopening of the Netherlands to English shipping in January 1565 spurred a burst of commercial activity.[24] The Royal Exchange was founded.[25] Mercantilism grew and monopoly traders such as the East India Company were founded as trade expanded to the New World. London became the main North Sea port, with migrants arriving from England and abroad. The population rose from about 50,000 in 1530 to about 225,000 in 1605.[21]

    In the 16th century, William Shakespeare and his contemporaries lived in London during English Renaissance theatre. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was constructed in 1599 in Southwark. Stage performances came to a halt in London when Puritan authorities shut down the theatres in the 1640s and 1650s.[26] The ban on theatre was lifted during the Restoration in 1660, and London's oldest operating theatre, Drury Lane, opened in 1663 in what is now the West End theatre district.[27]

    By the end of the Tudor period in 1603, London was still compact. There was an assassination attempt on James I in Westminster, in the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605.[28] In 1637, the government of Charles I attempted to reform administration in the London area. This called for the Corporation of the city to extend its jurisdiction and administration over expanding areas around the city. Fearing an attempt by the Crown to diminish the Liberties of London, coupled with a lack of interest in administering these additional areas or concern by city guilds of having to share power, caused the Corporation's "The Great Refusal", a decision which largely continues to account for the unique governmental status of the City.[29]

    In the English Civil War, the majority of Londoners supported the Parliamentary cause. After an initial advance by the Royalists in 1642, culminating in the battles of Brentford and Turnham Green, London was surrounded by a defensive perimeter wall known as the Lines of Communication. The lines were built by up to 20,000 people, and were completed in under two months.[30] The fortifications failed their only test when the New Model Army entered London in 1647,[31] and they were levelled by Parliament the same year.[32]

     The Great Fire of London destroyed many parts of the city in 1666.

    London was plagued by disease in the early 17th century,[33] culminating in the Great Plague of 1665–1666, which killed up to 100,000 people, or a fifth of the population.[33]

    The Great Fire of London broke out in 1666 in Pudding Lane in the city and quickly swept through the wooden buildings.[34] Rebuilding took over ten years and was supervised by polymath Robert Hooke.[35] In 1708 Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, was completed. During the Georgian era, new districts such as Mayfair were formed in the west; new bridges over the Thames encouraged development in South London. In the east, the Port of London expanded downstream. London's development as an international financial centre matured for much of the 18th century.[36]

    In 1762, George III acquired Buckingham House, which was enlarged over the next 75 years. During the 18th century, London was said to be dogged by crime,[37] and the Bow Street Runners were established in 1750 as a professional police force.[38] Epidemics during the 1720s and 30s saw most children born in the city die before reaching their fifth birthday.[39]

    Coffee-houses became a popular place to debate ideas, as growing literacy and development of the printing press made news widely available, with Fleet Street becoming the centre of the British press. The invasion of Amsterdam by Napoleonic armies led many financiers to relocate to London and the first London international issue was arranged in 1817. Around the same time, the Royal Navy became the world's leading war fleet, acting as a major deterrent to potential economic adversaries. The repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 was specifically aimed at weakening Dutch economic power. London then overtook Amsterdam as the leading international financial centre.[40]

    Late modern and contemporary

    With the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, an unprecedented growth in urbanisation took place, and the number of High Streets (the primary street for retail in Britain) rapidly grew.[41][42] London was the world's largest city from about 1831 to 1925, with a population density of 802 per acre (325 per hectare).[43] In addition to the growing number of stores selling goods, such as Harding, Howell & Co.—one of the first department stores—located on Pall Mall, the streets had scores of street sellers.[41] London's overcrowded conditions led to cholera epidemics, claiming 14,000 lives in 1848, and 6,000 in 1866.[44] Rising traffic congestion led to the creation of the world's first local urban rail network. The Metropolitan Board of Works oversaw infrastructure expansion in the capital and some surrounding counties; it was abolished in 1889 when the London County Council was created out of county areas surrounding the capital.[45]

    From the early years of the 20th century onwards, teashops were found on High Streets across London and the rest of Britain, with Lyons, who opened the first of their chain of teashops in Piccadilly in 1894, leading the way.[46] The tearooms, such as the Criterion in Piccadilly, became a popular meeting place for women from the suffrage movement.[47] The city was the target of many attacks during the suffragette bombing and arson campaign, between 1912 and 1914, which saw historic landmarks such as Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral bombed.[48]

     
    British volunteer recruits in London, August 1914, during World War I
     
    A bombed-out London street during the Blitz, World War II

    London was bombed by the Germans in the First World War, and during the Second World War, the Blitz and other bombings by the German Luftwaffe killed over 30,000 Londoners, destroying large tracts of housing and other buildings across the city.[49] The tomb of the Unknown Warrior, an unidentified member of the British armed forces killed during the First World War, was buried in Westminster Abbey on 11 November 1920.[50] The Cenotaph, located in Whitehall, was unveiled on the same day, and is the focal point for the National Service of Remembrance held annually on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November.[51]

    The 1948 Summer Olympics were held at the original Wembley Stadium, while London was still recovering from the war.[52] From the 1940s, London became home to many immigrants, primarily from Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan,[53] making London one of the most diverse cities in the world. In 1951, the Festival of Britain was held on the South Bank.[54] The Great Smog of 1952 led to the Clean Air Act 1956, which ended the "pea soup fogs" for which London had been notorious, and had earned it the nickname the "Big Smoke".[55]

    Starting mainly in the mid-1960s, London became a centre for worldwide youth culture, exemplified by the Swinging London sub-culture associated with the King's Road, Chelsea and Carnaby Street.[56] The role of trendsetter revived in the punk era.[57] In 1965 London's political boundaries were expanded in response to the growth of the urban area and a new Greater London Council was created.[58] During The Troubles in Northern Ireland, London was hit from 1973 by bomb attacks by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.[59] These attacks lasted for two decades, starting with the Old Bailey bombing.[59] Racial inequality was highlighted by the 1981 Brixton riot.[60]

    Greater London's population declined in the decades after the Second World War, from an estimated peak of 8.6 million in 1939 to around 6.8 million in the 1980s.[61] The principal ports for London moved downstream to Felixstowe and Tilbury, with the London Docklands area becoming a focus for regeneration, including the Canary Wharf development. This was born out of London's increasing role as an international financial centre in the 1980s.[62] Located about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of central London, the Thames Barrier was completed in the 1980s to protect London against tidal surges from the North Sea.[63]

    The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986, leaving London with no central administration until 2000 and the creation of the Greater London Authority.[64] To mark the 21st century, the Millennium Dome, London Eye and Millennium Bridge were constructed.[65] On 6 July 2005 London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympics, as the first city to stage the Olympic Games three times.[66] On 7 July 2005, three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus were bombed in a series of terrorist attacks.[59]

    In 2008, Time named London alongside New York City and Hong Kong as Nylonkong, hailing them as the world's three most influential global cities.[67] In January 2015, Greater London's population was estimated to be 8.63 million, its highest since 1939.[68] During the Brexit referendum in 2016, the UK as a whole decided to leave the European Union, but most London constituencies voted for remaining.[69] However, Britain's exit from the EU in early 2020 only marginally weakened London's position as an international financial centre.[70]

    On 6 May 2023, the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, took place at Westminster Abbey, London.[71]

    ^ a b "First 'London Bridge' in River Thames at Vauxhall". Retrieved 18 December 2023. ^ "London's Oldest Prehistoric Structure". BAJR. 3 April 2015. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018. ^ a b Milne, Gustav. "London's Oldest Foreshore Structure!". Frog Blog. Thames Discovery Programme. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011. ^ Cite error: The named reference auto1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Perring, Dominic (1991). Roman London. London: Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-203-23133-3. ^ "British History Timeline - Roman Britain". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2008. ^ Lancashire, Anne (2002). London Civic Theatre: City Drama and Pageantry from Roman Times to 1558. Cambridge University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-521-63278-2. ^ "The last days of Londinium". Museum of London. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. 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Retrieved 27 April 2008. ^ Schofield, John; Vince, Alan (2003). Medieval Towns: The Archaeology of British Towns in Their European Setting. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-8264-6002-8. ^ Ibeji, Mike (10 March 2011). "BBC – History – British History in depth: Black Death". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2008. ^ "Richard II (1367–1400)". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2008. ^ Jacobs, Joseph (1906). "England". Jewish Encyclopedia. ^ Mundill, Robin R. (2010), "The King's Jews", Continuum, London, pp. 88–99, ISBN 978-1-84725-186-2, LCCN 2010282921, OCLC 466343661, OL 24816680M ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus (1 January 1962). London – The Cities of London and Westminster. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Penguin Books. p. 48. ASIN B0000CLHU5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Steelyard, Merchants of the" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ^ Pounds, Normal J. G. (1973). An Historical Geography of Europe 450 B.C.–A.D. 1330. Cambridge University Press. p. 430. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139163552. ISBN 9781139163552. ^ Ramsay, George Daniel (1986). The Queen's Merchants and the Revolt of the Netherlands (The End of the Antwerp Mart, Vol 2). Manchester University Press. pp. 1 & 62–63. ISBN 9780719018497. ^ Burgon, John William (1839). The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham, Founder of the Royal Exchange: Including Notices of Many of His Contemporaries. With Illustrations, Volume 2. London: R. Jennings. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-1277223903. ^ "From pandemics to puritans: when theatre shut down through history and how it recovered". The Stage.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2022. ^ "London's 10 oldest theatres". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022. ^ Durston, Christopher (1993). James I. London: Routledge. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-415-07779-8. ^ Doolittle, Ian (2014). "'The Great Refusal': Why Does the City of London Corporation Only Govern the Square Mile?". The London Journal. 39 (1): 21–36. doi:10.1179/0305803413Z.00000000038. S2CID 159791907. ^ Flintham, David. "London". Fortified Places. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2021. ^ Harrington, Peter (2003). English Civil War Fortifications 1642–51, Volume 9 of Fortress, 9, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-604-6. p. 57 ^ Flintham, David. "London". Fortified Places. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2021.Razzell, Peter; Razzell, Edward, eds. (1 January 1996). The English Civil War: A contemporary account (v. 1). Wencelaus Hollar (Illustrator), Christopher Hill (Introduction). Caliban Books. ISBN 978-1850660316.Gardiner, Samuel R. (18 December 2016). History of the Great Civil War, 1642-1649. Vol. 3. Forgotten Books (published 16 July 2017). p. 218. ISBN 978-1334658464. ^ a b "A List of National Epidemics of Plague in England 1348–1665". Urban Rim. 4 December 2009. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010. ^ Pepys, Samuel (2 September 1666) [1893]. Mynors Bright (decipherer); Henry B. Wheatley (eds.). The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Vol. 45: August/September 1666. Univ of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22167-3. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. ^ Schofield, John (17 February 2011). "BBC – History – British History in depth: London After the Great Fire". BBC. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2021. ^ "Amsterdam and London as financial centers in the eighteenth century". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 4 July 2022. ^ Hell on Earth, or the Town in an Uproar (anon., London 1729). Jarndyce Autumn Miscellany catalogue, London: 2021. ^ "PBS – Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street". PBS. 2001. Retrieved 28 March 2021. ^ Harris, Rhian (5 October 2012). "History – The Foundling Hospital". BBC. Retrieved 28 March 2021. ^ Coispeau, Olivier (2016). Finance Masters: A Brief History of International Financial Centers in the Last Millennium. World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-310-884-4. ^ a b White, Matthew. "The rise of cities in the 18th century". British Library. Retrieved 11 June 2022. ^ Christopher Watson (1993). K.B. Wildey; Wm H. Robinson (eds.). Trends in urbanisation. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Urban Pests. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.522.7409. ^ "London: The greatest city". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 19 April 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2021. ^ Brown, Robert W. "London in the Nineteenth Century". University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011. ^ Pennybacker, Susan D. (2005). Vision for London, 1889–1914. Routledge. p. 18. ^ "Bawden and battenberg: the Lyons teashop lithographs". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2022. ^ "Taking Tea and Talking Politics: The Role of Tearooms". Historic England. Retrieved 27 June 2022. ^ "Suffragettes, violence and militancy". British Library. Retrieved 9 October 2021. ^ "Bomb-Damage Maps Reveal London's World War II Devastation". nationalgeographic.com.au. 18 May 2016. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017. ^ "Buried Among Kings: The Story of the Unknown Warrior". Nam.ac.uk. National Army Museum. Retrieved 15 April 2023. ^ Vaughan-Barratt, Nick (4 November 2009). "Remembrance". BBC Blogs. BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2023. ^ Ronk, Liz (27 July 2013). "LIFE at the 1948 London Olympics". Time. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2017. ^ Hibbert, Christopher; Weinreb, Ben; Keay, Julia; Keay, John (2010). The London Encyclopaedia. Photographs by Matthew Weinreb (3rd ed.). Pan Macmillan. p. 428. ISBN 9781405049252. ^ "1951: King George opens Festival of Britain". BBC. 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2017. ^ Breen, Matt (13 January 2017). "Most Googled: why is London called the 'Big Smoke'?". Time Out London. Retrieved 29 November 2022. ^ Rycroft, Simon (2016). "Mapping Swinging London". Swinging City: A Cultural Geography of London 1950–1974. Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 9781317047346. ^ Bracken, Gregory B. (2011). Walking Tour London: Sketches of the city's architectural treasures... Journey Through London's Urban Landscapes. Marshall Cavendish International. p. 10. ISBN 9789814435369. ^ Webber, Esther (31 March 2016). "The rise and fall of the GLC". BBC Newsmaccess-date=18 June 2017. ^ a b c >Godoy, Maria (7 July 2005). "Timeline: London's Explosive History". NPR. Retrieved 25 March 2021. ^ John, Cindi (5 April 2006). "The legacy of the Brixton riots". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2017. ^ "London's population hits 8.6m record high". BBC News. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2017. ^ Zolfagharifard, Ellie (14 February 2014). "Canary Wharf timeline: from the Thatcher years to Qatari control". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2017. ^ Kendrick, Mary (1988). "The Thames Barrier". Landscape and Urban Planning. 16 (1–2): 57–68. doi:10.1016/0169-2046(88)90034-5. ^ "1986: Greater London Council abolished". BBC. 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2017. ^ Ijeh, Ike (25 June 2010). "Millennium projects: 10 years of good luck". building.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2017. ^ Cite error: The named reference IOC was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Derudder, Ben; Hoyler, Michael; Taylor, Peter J.; Witlox, Frank, eds. (2015). International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 422. ISBN 9781785360688. ^ "Population Growth in London, 1939–2015". London Datastore. Greater London Authority. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015. Alt URL ^ Chandler, Mark (24 June 2016). "'Wouldn't you prefer to be President Sadiq?' Thousands call on Sadiq Khan to declare London's independence and join EU". Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 March 2021. ^ "London as a Financial Center Since Brexit: Evidence from the 2022 BIS Triennial Survey | Global Development Policy Center". Bu.edu. ^ "The Coronation Weekend". Royal.uk.
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Stay safe
  •  
    Stay safe

    In an emergency, telephone "999" (or "112"). This number connects to Police, Ambulance and Fire/Rescue services. You will be asked which of these three services you require before being connected to the relevant operator.

     
     
    A Traditional 'Blue Lamp' outside a Police Station in London

    London has one of the oldest police forces in the world, The Metropolitan Police Service, and on the whole, London is a safe place to visit and explore. Alongside the regular Police, there are over 4,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) that provide a highly visible presence on the streets and can deal with low-level crime. Normal precautions for the safe keeping of your personal possessions, as you would in any other city, are suggested.

    Crime

    Like many big cities, London has a variety of social problems, especially begging, drug abuse and theft (mobile phones are a favourite, often snatched by fast-moving moped riders).

    ...Read more
     
    Stay safe

    In an emergency, telephone "999" (or "112"). This number connects to Police, Ambulance and Fire/Rescue services. You will be asked which of these three services you require before being connected to the relevant operator.

     
     
    A Traditional 'Blue Lamp' outside a Police Station in London

    London has one of the oldest police forces in the world, The Metropolitan Police Service, and on the whole, London is a safe place to visit and explore. Alongside the regular Police, there are over 4,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) that provide a highly visible presence on the streets and can deal with low-level crime. Normal precautions for the safe keeping of your personal possessions, as you would in any other city, are suggested.

    Crime

    Like many big cities, London has a variety of social problems, especially begging, drug abuse and theft (mobile phones are a favourite, often snatched by fast-moving moped riders).

    The Metropolitan Police have placed significant resources in combating street level crime. Working in conjunction with borough councils, they have brought the level of theft and pickpocketing in major retail areas in London to a manageable level. Pickpocketing in London is not as rampant as in other major European cities, though it still pays to be vigilant and take the usual precautions in securing your valuables.

    Street gang culture is a growing problem in London as with many other cities in England. While most groups of youngsters are not likely to present any danger to tourists, some people feel the need to be slightly more vigilant in certain areas, especially certain outer suburbs. Violent crime is in general not common, and typically occurs in impoverished neighbourhoods that tourists are unlikely to wander into by accident.

    Very broadly speaking, areas with acute crime problems include Tottenham, Croydon, Brixton, Poplar, and Peckham.

    Main precautions to take Keep valuables out of sight: Many crimes are opportunistic - a lot of mobile phones are snatched from restaurant tables. By keeping items such as cash and mobile phones out of sight theft can easily be prevented. Don't flash your cash unnecessarily! Keep bags zipped up and close to your body: If your bag is hanging open it's like putting up a flashing neon sign saying "Steal from me!" Use zips and inside pockets to secure items wherever possible. Never leave valuables such as mobile phones, wallets, or travel documents in an outside section of your bag. Be aware of your surroundings: Before using your mobile phone have a look around you. Put your back against something solid such as a wall or window so you can't be approached from behind. If you're in a train or Tube station try to use your phone before leaving as all stations have CCTV. Constantly look around you even if you are in a busy area. Don't walk and talk/text!Late at night

    If you're planning to go out late at night and are worried about safety then try to frequent crowded areas such as the West End. There are always plenty of people on the street, even at 04:00. Generally, outside central London, the south, and east suburban areas are considered more dangerous, notably Brixton, Peckham and Hackney, although some parts of north-west London such as Harlesden and northern Camden are also known trouble spots.

    The main problem throughout London to various degrees is drunken behaviour, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights and after football matches. Loud and rowdy behaviour is to be expected and fights and acts of aggression also occur. If you are harassed, it is best to simply ignore and walk away from those concerned. Trouble spots can be expected around popular drinking locations such as Soho and in various suburban centres.

    Scams and cons

    London has a large number of con artists around, all trying to convince you to hand over your money one way or another. In general, you should never give cash or your bank/credit card detail to people on the street no matter how genuine they seem.

    Cash machine/ATM scams: Most usage of these machines is perfectly safe, but there are various ways that thieves can either obtain your card or your cash when using an ATM. It is always safest to withdraw cash using a machine inside a bank, but street machines are usually more convenient. Before inserting your card visually check the machine for anything that looks odd. Thieves sometimes install cameras above the pin pad. If things look OK then reach out and wiggle the slot where you insert your card - if the slot's loose, don't put your card in, as there may be a device installed to trap your card. All good? OK, is there anyone standing too close to you or hovering nearby? If so, perhaps cancel the transaction and go elsewhere. If everything's good then go ahead! When obtaining your cash and retrieving your card hover your hand over the slot to be ready to grab them as soon as they come out. Is anyone trying to distract you? Don't let them and leave swiftly. If you notice anything odd about a cash machine or people nearby then phone the police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or report it to the premises the machine is attached to. Don't try to remove any devices yourself.

    Cup and ball game: This variant of a scam dating back into antiquity is perhaps the most common and is frequently seen on the busier pedestrian bridges such as Westminster Bridge. A person will lay out a mat with three cups on it. They will pretend to hide a ball under one of the cups, move the cups around, and then ask you to place a bet on where the ball-containing cup has landed. There is no ball - the con artist will have spirited it away! This con always has people acting as lookouts in the crowd and they will pretend to win every now and again so it looks like the game is winnable. Also beware if you are just stopping to watch as you could be pick-pocketed! The best defence is to walk straight past these events and not engage at all. If you have a mobile phone/cellphone that works in the UK you can phone the police on 101 (the non-emergency equivalent to 999) and report them, but it is advised to move away to do this as you may be harassed by the con artist or their lookouts if they overhear you.

    Overzealous street performers: Most street performers are happy to just do their thing, let you watch, and then you can throw them a few coins if you liked the show. However, some street performers will actively grab and harass passers-by in order to get attention and money. They may forcefully pose with you and ask you to take a photograph and then demand money for the photo opportunity. They may also take this opportunity while you're distracted to pick-pocket you. Don't engage with any street performer who is pushy or forceful - try and walk away, or call out "Get off me!" or "No!" and draw attention to yourself if you can't escape easily. Again, you can report these bogus street performers on the 101 number as above.

    Tissue sellers on trains: Beggars will get onto a train and place tissues on the seats with a note begging for money. They want you to feel pity for them and buy the tissues, but this is an organised scam and the money goes towards criminal enterprises. If you see this happening on a train don't buy the tissues and ignore anyone who asks you for money for them. If you're above ground you can text the British Transport Police on 61016 to report it.

    "Clip joint": Every night, Soho presents a particular danger: the "clip joint". The usual targets of these establishments are lone male tourists. Usually, an attractive woman will casually befriend the victim and recommend a local bar or even a club that has a "show". The establishment will be near-desolate, and, even if the victim has only a drink or two, the bill will run to hundreds of pounds. If payment is not immediately provided, the bouncers will lock the "patrons" inside and take it by force or take them to an ATM and stand over them while they extract the cash. To be safe, if a woman you just met suggests you a place, try to recommend a different bar. If she insists on hers then walk away and do not listen to her suggestions. Sometimes this con trick takes place when someone is lured into a private club with the promise of something perhaps more than a drink (like a "private show" or sex for a small amount of money). A "hostess fee" will appear on the bill for several hundred pounds, even though there has been nothing more than polite conversation.

    "Stress tests": If anyone offers you a free "stress test", they are likely trying to recruit you into the Church of Scientology. The best option is to walk away or just say "No thank you" politely, as people are commonly harassed into giving personal details.

    Needing money for phone/train tickets/the bus/et al.: Someone will approach you asking for money for public transport. They will claim that they have lost their Travelcard or that it has been damaged somehow. Most people upon losing their Travelcard will seek aid at a train station and not approach random strangers! Another variant of this scam exists wherein a man or woman will ask for change so they can make a call at a phone box. Occasionally a person with a very convincing fake injury will ask for money so that they can get a taxi to hospital, strangely refusing the offer of you calling an ambulance or the police for them as you would do for most injured people in the street. Ignore them.

    Ticket machine scam: One of the most popular scams in London is the ticket machine scam: While buying a ticket at a train station someone will approach you and act as if they want to help you buy the right ticket. In reality, they will wait until your money is in the machine, then lean across, cancel the transaction and pocket your cash. Say "No thanks" politely - you know what ticket you want to buy!

    Selling/asking for a donation for "lucky heather": This scam, usually operated by women, involves someone handing you "lucky heather" (a small flower usually wrapped in foil) and then either trying to sell it to you or asking for a monetary donation. They will come up with a vague charity ("money for sick children", "money for orphaned babies", and so on) and show you a purse full of supposed "donations". If you are handed one of these flowers either hand it back or drop it on the ground and leave. Be aware that you if you take the flower and leave without "donating" you could be chased and harassed by the people involved in the scam.

    Street collections

    Although not illegal, London is a known hotspot for charity collectors, some of whom can be extremely persuasive in trying to obtain a donation; therefore they have earned the name "charity muggers" or "chuggers". If you do not want to donate, be polite but forceful, and under no circumstances provide any form of bank details. Larger charities ask their collectors to have specific and verifiable identification.

    Transport

    Don't take illegal minicabs (see Get around for details). No Minicabs are allowed to ply for trade on the street, and any doing this should be avoided.

    Travelling on the lower deck of a night bus is generally safer, as there are more passengers around, and you are visible to the bus driver.

    If you have been the victim of crime on the railways or the London Underground you should report the crime as soon as possible to the British Transport Police who have an office in most major train and Tube stations. If you have been a victim of crime in the City of London you should report the crime to the City of London Police. Elsewhere, you should report your crime as normal to the Metropolitan Police.

    If you've lost an item on the Underground, Overground or Docklands Light Railway, in a licensed black cab, or on a red London bus then you should contact the TfL Lost Property Office as soon as possible.

    If an item is lost or misplaced on other transport services in London, the relevant service operator should be contacted.

    Bank, credit and debit cards, when found, are securely destroyed. Contact your bank immediately if you lose these on a transport service.

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