Are Oxford Street and Bond Street really “unsafe”, like UAE says?

The answer is no.

A map issued by the United Arab Emirates warning wealthy foreigners to avoid “danger areas including Oxford Circus, Soho and Edgware Road” has been ridiculed by various London authorities.

The map has named Edgware Road, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Soho, Marble Arch and Piccadilly among other “dangerous areas” in the capital.

The news comes after two incidents in April where three Emirati sisters were attacked in their hotel room at Marble Arch and a couple was robbed at gun point in Paddington.

But should tourists avoid London?

Metropolitan Police commander Makhdum Chishty said “there is absolutely nowhere in London which should be avoided”.

“We understand the incidents involving Emirati nationals earlier this year was shocking, but it was also very, very rare.

“Police presence is high and post-Ramadan with the traditional influx of visitors from the UAE, we reviewed our policing plans so we have a strong presence from our policing teams and officers working in plain clothes. We are also profiling busy times of the week when visitor spots and iconic destinations in central London become busy.”

Westminster Council’s community safety spokesperson Nickie Aiken said: “We do not recognise the picture that the UAE Foreign Ministry is painting. Westminster is a safe city, and we welcome millions of tourists every year to see world-renowned landmarks and attractions, including Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street.

“Because of our proactive approach to tackling such issues, London is one of the safest cities in the world, as well as one of the most visited.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Crime in London fell by 6% in the last year, with burglary and robbery at their lowest rates for years, making London one of the safest major cities in the world. Crimes like those involving UAE citizens earlier in the year are isolated and thankfully very rare; and the Met Police will continue to work extremely hard to ensure the safety of the millions of visitors who flock to the capital each year.”

Do you think the West End is dangerous? Tweet me @shrutitripathi6

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