Globetrotter, you bring up very valid points, esp. the nature of the crime, but there is one thing you have not considered in your argument. London nightlife culture differs oh so vastly from the rest of the UK alongside with the binge drinking. For one thing, a blue-collar citizen is not going to go drinking in Central London, be it a nice bar or club, or even a local pub. Therefore, unless you are suggesting that a tourist is going to go out to Hackney for a pint, there are very unlikely to encounter any such problems. For another, even in an unreal scenario, licensing laws in the City of Westminster differ a great deal from anywhere else in the UK. Unlike other areas, the 'last call' for drinks varies from establishment to establishment, thus one in desperate need of a drink will almost certainly be able to go elsewhere. Moreover, although most districts do state in their legislation that if a patron is visibly intoxicated, it is illegal to serve them, it is not normally practiced. However, in City of Westminster this is very strictly enforced; I've seen people being a little chatty with the bar staff and being refused a drink. Of course, I cannot say for every place, because it depends on the staff on an individual basis, but from what I've seen it is the case. Therefore, in summary, London is more dangerous than NY, as far as figures go. However, you're not going to die in London, you'll get bruised. However, I do not agree that London is not suitable in this respect, perhaps traffic, or even infrastructure, but as far as crime goes; 1. Olympic spectators are likely to be relatively decent, sure there not your The Races at Ascot, Henley Regatta, or Windsor Polo crowd, but they certainly aren't your Wembley/ Loftus Road crowd. I maintain that they will be seldom different from the Lords/Twickenham/Wimbledon crowd. 2. I would sooner be alive and victim of abuse than shot, perhaps dead, and passport less.
JM, I think that you are basically right on your points - like I said, I get to london on a regular basis, and have never had a problem. but, again I may differ with you on the nature of the olympics - I would suggest that for olympic summer games you would have tens of thousands of visitors in subhurbs of london, and even farther away, due to the great influx of crowds for the games. although these will be basically decent people, many won't speak English, many will be young and nationalistic (proud of their own countries) and often niave. My first gut reaction when I thought of london for the games was violent interaction between local youths and these type of tourists, and I think that that gut reaction still is a realistic expectation. once, a few years ago, I went to london for a training for a company. the office of this company was in "london" - but it was actually in a suburb that wasn't very nice, not to far from heathrow (I can't remember the name now, not too far from wimbleton, either). from the corporate HQ's perspective, this was "london", but when I got their the pubs and shops all had wire over their windows, which I was told was due to a spate of robberies where the perpetrators through dust bins through the windows of shops. needless to say, this wasn't such a nice part of town. my point being that from far away, this looked like london- for the olympic games, tens of thousands of people will end up billeted in places like that, without speaking the language, and potentially in the middle of danger. aside from that, I think that london would be a great place for the games, and is a great place in general. In the same way that I was very happy that athens made it easier to get from the airport to town (and imporved the airport) in order to get the games, I'd like to see the UK address this recent problem in order to prepare for the games.