Recent figures show that crime rates fell in Manchester over the last year. In fact, after five years of increasing crime, the total number of crimes committed this year (2018/2019) dropped by over four percent.
That said, unfortunately, compared to other cities of a similar size, Manchester has a higher level of crime than most.
This presents travellers with a dilemma. On the one hand, Manchester offers some fantastic attractions. On the other, is visiting them worth the risk?
Our head office is in Chorley – just down the road from Manchester – so we’ll always argue that Manchester is well worth visiting. To get things into perspective, the UK is, in general, a very safe country. And that means that even the UK’s most dangerous areas are still, in global terms, incredibly safe.
That said, like any big city, there are certain things you need to be aware of in Manchester. Here are our top safety tips for those looking to visit the city.
• Avoid looking overly touristy – that means no standing around looking at maps and no cameras dangling around the neck.
• In crowded areas – such as on trams or buses – keep your wallet in your front pocket (and place your hand on top of it). If you carry a handbag, keep it closed and hold it in front of you.
• Don’t flaunt expensive belongings, such as cameras, smart phones, jewellery or cash, in public.
• Be cautious when using ATMs and make sure you don’t carry an excessive amount of cash on your person.
• At night, avoid walking and instead opt for public transport or a taxi. If walking is absolutely necessary, stick to well lit, public areas. (See our tips for how to walk safely at night).
• If you need directions or help, approach a police officer, a Manchester security guard or a store owner.
• Face oncoming traffic when walking on the pavement. This will make it harder for thieves to come up behind you on bikes, mopeds or in a car.
Pickpocketing is a significant problem in Manchester, with spates of the crime making the headlines every few years. To prevent being targeted by pickpockets:
• Prepare properly. Create duplicates of your most important documents. This includes your passport, prescriptions, tickets and itinerary. Leave copies in your hotel room and keep them separated from the originals.
• Don’t carry valuables. Expensive gear – such as a laptop or tablet – is much safer when it’s left in your hotel room rather than being ferried around in a rucksack or satchel.
• Secure your bag. Pickpockets do not like to create a disturbance. As such, it suits them much better to separate you from your valuables quickly and efficiently. This means that even minor obstacles can be enough to put many off. When sitting, loop a strap around your arm, leg or chair. When sleeping, fasten your valuables to your body with a clip. Use a twist-tie, paper clip or keyring to keep your bag properly secured.
• Consider using a money belt. A money belt is a fabric pouch on an elastic strip that fastens around your waist. These are ideal for carrying important documents, cash and personal identification, and can be worn underneath clothing for maximum security.
• Stay vigilant. Pickpockets will try often to confuse unsuspecting travellers. So be on high alert if an argument, fight or jostle occurs on your train. Additionally, watch out for crowds, since these provide thieves with plenty of targets and escape routes. Finally, remain alert when train or bus doors open, since this is the perfect time for a grab and run.
A few other things to bear in mind when travelling to the UK.
Traffic. It’s important to remember that cars drive on the left in Manchester. To ensure you cross the road safely, use only designated crossings and cross only when the green man is showing. Take note of signs telling you to “look right” and “look left”.
Bars and restaurants. Don’t take drinks from strangers. Store property safely under the table. Check up on your friends by phone or by text to make sure they get home safely.
Street food. Manchester offers a fantastic variety of street food vendors. If you decide to use one, make sure they are displaying a vendor’s license on their cart.
Churchill Security is a cross-industry security company. A trusted Manchester security company, we only deploy the most highly-trained SIA licensed security guards and offer a truly customer-centric approach. Get in touch today if you’re looking to for Manchester security.