The term ‘you’re so 1970s’ still rings in my ears from my eldest daughter. I do love social media, but like a few of my generation, it doesn’t come naturally.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with Carolyn from Maiden Voyage and what transpired from an informal introduction has directed me to my new challenge: I was asked to write a blog. A blog to send internationally to my fellow females who are looking to come to London. A blog not only to welcome you to our great capital, but to make you feel safe and reassure you whilst you are here.
What a challenge!
I had better introduce myself: I am Nikki, a 40 something Police Sergeant from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). I am a wife, a mother, a commuter, working full time within one of the greatest safest global cities in the world.
I began my service 20 years ago in a small county force before transferring to the MPS. Based in the heart of London, I patrol Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street. I must admit that for many the idea of working in such an iconic retail and social environment would be an exciting challenge, well it is, but it has also pleased my husband as my shop-a-holic tendencies seem to have subsided!
The area never ceases to amaze me; Oxford Street alone is the longest high street measuring 1.5 miles long incorporating many stores, of which 85 are flagship, 120 international brands, the annual sales alone is estimated at 8.8 billion. With 600,000 visitors to Oxford Street, 54% of these being female, it is one of the safest places in the UK. Both Regent Street and Bond Street enhance this.
I love my job. I look forward to coming to work. Every day is a new challenge. One minute I can be a tour guide extraordinaire and the next I may have to deal with anti-social behaviour or a low level crime, but all to make the area a safer place to be.
Current crime figures show a reduction in crime of 17% on my area. I am extremely proud of this. It would be great to say that I have achieved this myself, but I have not. This has been achieved collectively by myself and my police colleagues, and in partnership with the business improvement district fronted by the New West End Company (NWEC), The Safer West End Partnership (SWE) and Westminster City Council in the development of plans to ensure that terrorism, crime, anti-social behaviour, rough sleeping, alcohol related disorder are all tackled effectively.
Whilst the chance of you becoming a victim of crime is small, I would urge you to remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings and personal belongings. Please ensure they are safe and secure, and cannot be easily accessed by criminals. Unfortunately as in all cities, there are the minority who will disrupt your work or enjoyment of this trip. Do not put yourself at risk of being potential victims or in a situation that is not safe. Simple measures I am sure you follow at home. Do not go off with strangers, stay in areas that are busy, and please please please do not use pedicabs! Whilst this can be seen as a great means of travel, they are not licensed, and are not insured.
For more details on how to prevent yourself from being a victim of crime; visit the Met police crime prevention website:
Police Sergeant Nikki Clarke has worked within the police force for 20 years. She is a wife, a mother and a commuter, working full time within an internationally renowned tourist destination making visitors’ experiences that of a enjoyable and memorable one.