Cardiff may be one of the youngest cities in the UK but it is a bustling metropolitan city steeped in Celtic history, boasting a medieval castle, a thriving creative arts scene and sporting stadiums that play host to top international sporting events.
With a population of 470,000, Cardiff sits in South Wales near neighbouring cities Newport and Swansea. As the largest city in Wales, Cardiff has the highest crime rate in the country with 4317 crimes reported in May 2019.
This presents tourists with a dilemma. Cardiff offers plenty of attractions – on the other hand, is visiting them worth the risk? The UK is generally a very safe place to visit, meaning that even with the most dangerous areas – the UK is a safe place to visit in global terms.
However, like any large city – there are certain things that you need to be aware of when visiting Cardiff.
So here are some tips and precautions for keeping yourself safe.
Try and avoid looking overly touristy- Criminals such as pickpocketers look for easy targets all the time and tourists come under that category. When walking around, make sure that you’re not standing to look at maps and that your camera or smartphone is in a bag out of sight and not dangling around your neck or sticking out of a pocket.
In crowded areas such as buses and trains keep your wallet or phone in front pockets (and place your hand on it) or keep your handbag or backpack closed and have it in front of you.
Don’t flaunt expensive belongings such as cameras, smartphones, jewellery or cash in public. Keep them safe in ether your front pockets or tuck them inside the pockets of your bag instead of the outside where they can be easily reached and stolen.
Be cautious around ATMs. When using an ATM make sure that there is nothing suspicious around the card reader or above the keypad or screen. When typing your pin make sure that it is shielded and when withdrawing cash make sure that you aren’t carrying too much cash around.
If you’re planning on going out at night, avoid walking and instead opt for public transport or a taxi. If you do have to walk, stick to well-lit areas.
If you are in need of directions or help, approach either a police officer or shop owner. Even though smartphones and tablets are great for downloading map directions, if these get stolen you might want to keep a physical copy of directions to places of safety.
Wearing expensive and designer clothes or accessories can make you a more likely target to criminals so opt for cheaper clothing and accessories when out and about.
Stay connected and up-to-date. Whether it’s using mobile data on your smartphone, hotel wifi or Wifi hotspots, keep up-to-date with what is happening in the city during your stay.
It’s good to read up on any protests or large events such as international Rugby matches occurring during your stay. Keeping up-to-date with current affairs/news stories in Cardiff will go a long way to you feeling safe travelling in and out of the city.
Take a portable charger with you and charge up your device enough so that you won’t run out of battery.
In Cardiff, around 43 cases of pickpocketing were reported to South Wales police in May 2019. To prevent yourself from being stolen from:
- Prepare properly – whenever you have documentation with you, make sure that you have a copy in your hotel room and keep them separate from the originals.
- Don’t carry valuables such as laptops and tablets. These are best left in your room inside a locker or safe. If your room doesn’t have a locker or safe, keep them out of sight under clothing in either a suitcase or bag.
- Secure your bag from pickpocketers. Pickpocketers will avoid creating a disturbance and it suits them better to separate you from your valuables quickly and efficiently. Making yourself an obstacle can put pickpocketers off. If you are sat outside a cafe or restaurant, loop a strap around your arm, leg or chair.
- Consider using a money belt. A money belt is a fabric pouch on an elastic strap that fastens around your waist. They’re ideal for carrying documents, cash and personal identification and can be worn underneath clothing.
- Stay vigilant when travelling. Pick Pocketers will try and confuse unsuspecting travellers. So be wary of arguments, fight or jostling occurs on public transport. Watch for crowds as these present targets and escape routes to thieves. When standing to leave public transport, be alert as this is the perfect time for a grab and run.
If you’re visiting from outside of the UK be aware that traffic drives on the left side of the road. When crossing busy roads use designated crossings and cross when the green man is shown. Also, be vigilant to look left and right before crossing any roads.
If you are planning to visit the many bars and restaurants in Cardiff, don’t accept drinks from strangers. Make sure that your bags and coats are safely under the table. If you are there with friends, check up on them by phone or text to make sure that they have gotten home safely.
Cardiff is host to many street food festivals and street food stallholders. If you decide to use one, make sure that they are displaying a vendors license on their cart.
A&R Security Services has over 40 years of experience in providing professional security solutions in Cardiff. We are professional in what we do and provide SIA trained guards and have a customer-orientated approach to each client. If you would like to find out more about our security solution get in touch with us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for more details.