The safest London boroughs for starting a business

Data Insights 17 January 2020
St Pauls & Bridge

If you’re starting or expanding your business in London, it pays to pick a safe borough. While the UK capital is great for business opportunities, falling victim to petty crimes can hamper your profits – or worse, the safety of your staff.

We’ve ranked the safest boroughs in London for business, looking at the crime rates your start-up will want to avoid. We’ve focused on:

  • Burglary – Where someone breaks into your property to steal
  • Theft – Stealing without using force. E.g. shoplifting
  • Robbery – Where someone uses force, or the threat of force, to steal from you

Comparing the number of these crimes to the population of each borough – working out the number of crimes per 1,000 of the population – we’ve put together this list from the safest to least safe. Where does your borough rank?

Richmond upon Thames

This leafy southwest borough, sitting either side of the Thames, is the safest place to run a business in London, with the overall lowest rates of burglaries, thefts, and robberies compared to its population out of all the areas we looked at. It also has the lowest amounts of thefts and robberies out of everywhere else in London.

Harrow

Over to the northwest, on the edge of Hertfordshire, Harrow is the second safest borough in London for starting a business. As well as being one of London’s securest spots, this suburban area has good transport links to Central London – so you might get the benefit of lots of potential customers (despite being in a quieter spot) while working in a safer area. Plus, it neighbours another borough in the top five: Ealing.

Sutton

This London borough, a popular spot for families and businesses alike, made it into the top 10 – ranking third for the least burglaries, robberies, and thefts combined. In fact, it has the fewest burglaries per 1,000 of its population out of all the London boroughs. With its mile-long high street, it’s surely a great choice to set up shop.

Ealing

Next door to Harrow, Ealing is the fourth safest London borough for setting up a business. It’s largely inhabited by families and working professionals, and part of it is within the Metropolitan Green Belt, so it’s not bad on the eye either. But it can still attract plenty of hustle and bustle to your business, thanks to its multiple tube stops and lines running through it that can get you or your customers to and from central London.

Merton

Home to Wimbledon, the London Borough of Merton made it into the top 5 for its low overall crime rates. It also has the third-lowest number of burglaries per its population. But this safe area certainly offers more than just low crime rates and tennis. Big businesses such as video game producer Square Enix Europe, contact lens supplier Lenstore, and supermarket chain Lidl have offices in Wimbledon. Maybe you’ll see success in this borough, too?

Which London boroughs are the least safe?

While the boroughs we’ve mentioned are great for staying safe from crime, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden and Westminster respectively have the worst crime rates combined for burglary, theft, and robbery when compared to their populations.

All located next door to each other in the heart of London, these areas see plenty of footfall from residents, tourists, commuters, and probably nearly anyone with a reason to be in the capital. This makes them great for attracting customers but, unfortunately, at times, criminals too.

While these places undoubtedly offer a lot of potential, it’s good for businesses to be aware of some of the risks that come with trading in the bustling metropole and take precautions to them in advance.

Businesses starting up should consider:

  • Training their staff on best practice security protocols
  • Investing in technology such as CCTV and intelligent alarms and locking systems
  • Understanding the best business insurance that will reduce potential losses

If you’re starting up or looking to expand your business in London, and you want to be extra sure your company is safe from criminals, it seems your best bet is to look towards the west. In some cases, the closer to the outskirts the better.

Think about these risks compared to how your profits could be affected by other factors in the location you choose, and you’ll find the right part of London for your business.

 

Methodology:

We gathered crime data from the Metropolitan Police and worked out the number of robberies, thefts, and burglaries per 1,000 of the population in each London borough. Looking at these crime rates, we used the data to generate scores out of 10 in terms of safety for each London borough – the higher the score, the safer the borough.

 

Paymentsense is a provider of card payment solutions in the UK and Ireland. More than 70,000 companies, including small business owners, use their card machines to process over £10 billion of sales every year.

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