|We will discuss safety extensively as we move through the course--
especially late in the fall semester when we will spend a substantial amount of time
preparing for the study trip. Let us note several things here, however. First, London
is a big city, and like all big cities, it has its dangers. In 2005, of course, there
were coordinated terrorist bombings on the transit system; these have come to be known collectively as "7/7," because
they occurred on the 7th of July. Second, London is also one of the most
"surveilled" cities in the world--if you look carefully as you walk its streets, you will
notice the tens of thousands of security cameras that monitor your activitities. (George
Orwell is turning over in his grave.) Third, while it has experienced various kinds of violence
and crime in the past, and no doubt will in the future, it's also true that London is, as big cities
go, a relatively safe city, at least in the central section where we will be spending almost
all of our time. The most significant types of crime that you are likely to encounter are those that
affect travelers all over the world--purse/bag snatching and pick-pocketing.
As with so many aspects of life, common sense matters when it comes to safety. Don't walk alone at night; always tell someone when you're going out; keep your eyes and ears open; protect your valuables; don't attend all-night raves in Brixton. Simple practices of that sort will keep you as safe in London as you would be in any major city in the United States.
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