Is Oxford safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide

Published by: Bounce8 March, 2023
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The incredible city of Oxford, found to the south east of Birmingham and north west of central London, is known around the world for its historical and architectural wonders. It is home to intriguing museums and landmarks, like Oxford University, and has been an inspiration for several outstanding writers including J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Caroll and C.S. Lewis. Despite its fame, Oxford is a small and quiet town that is great for vacationers looking to explore a new city.

As the gateway to the rest of Oxfordshire, this city can see quite a lot of tourists, mostly between the months of April and August since that is when most students attending colleges are done with exams. In total, the city sees an estimated 7 million visitors each year, and Oxford is also home to a bit over 160,000 residents.

If you're one of the many people who want to see the city for yourself, you should know about the luggage storage services in Oxford. Bounce is a safe and convenient place to safely store your luggage and with an app available on both Android and iOS, plus locations available all over the city, you can visit Oxford stress-free.

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Is Oxford safe to visit right now?

Before taking off to Oxford, check in with the travel restrictions of your own government to see if they deem the country to be safe for travel. Currently, there is an advisory for the United Kingdom, so exercise caution when traveling here. Despite the warning, traveling to Oxford is indeed safe and as in any large city, you'll want to be careful in big crowds and keep an eye out for suspicious behavior from strangers. Otherwise, the UK is typically a safe country and is in 33rd place on the 2021 Global Peace Index which rates the state of peace in 163 countries.

Oxford itself is a pretty safe city, although there are some incidents that you'll need to be aware of. Tourists most often face pickpockets and muggers here, but if you know Oxford safety tips, you'll have a marvelous time. We'll prepare you as much as possible but reading a few other safety guides is a good idea too.

Top petty crimes and scams in Oxford affecting tourists

Oxford has a relatively low crime rate compared to other cities and doesn't experience natural disasters either, but being a savvy traveler is always wise. Here are a few things to keep in mind during your trip.


It is normal to find pickpockets in major cities, especially when popular destinations for tourists. As someone new to the area, you'll be an easier target for petty thieves and should keep a close eye on your personal belongings when you're visiting busy landmarks or attractions, or when using public transport.

To stop thieves from snatching wallets or mobile phones, try tying a thick rubber band around these items so you can feel if one is being taken away. Other belongings should be stored inside a slash-proof bag, and having one that goes across your body as opposed to over your shoulders can keep it from being snatched as well. The best way to keep your valuables safe is to store them in a Bounce luggage locker. Why carry more than you have to?


Mugging isn't common in Oxford and it is a very safe city for tourists for the most part since armed attacks are very rare, especially around the city center. However, your safety will rely on your own personal decisions and the precautions that you take.

To prevent muggings, avoid the dangerous places around town and don't walk alone at night. It is also wise to keep very expensive items, accessories or clothing at home so you don't draw attention from thieves. If you're ever approached by a dangerous person you should comply and contact the police later on when you're somewhere safe.


Scamming happens often in touristy cities in Europe, not just in Oxford, so it is a good idea to practice scouting out scammers and learn how to avoid being a victim. Scammers will usually approach tourists and offer to carry their luggage, show them around, or try to sell them something. If you use common sense, don't accept help, and are wary of strangers approaching you, you won't be a victim of their tricks.

It is also important to double check the change that you get back after making a purchase because vendors might purposely give you the wrong amount. If you do ask for a service, you should negotiate the terms beforehand and pay them after. In some cities, fake taxis can be a problem as well.

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Is Oxford safe to travel alone

Since Oxford is a university town you'll notice that lots of students spend time on their own here as they seek higher education. It is a safe place to travel solo as long as you're careful and don't take any unnecessary risks. Walking around on your own is fine during the daytime, but it is generally safer to avoid exploring by yourself at night. This goes for any city, not just Oxford. If you're spending time outdoors after dark consider taking a bike instead of walking, just in case you need to get somewhere in a hurry. Beware that there have been witnessed attempts of bike stealing as well, so be mindful of where you leave your bicycle and always lock it up.

The United Kingdom is listed 26th on the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index and is a great place for solo female travelers. Venture to places like the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean museum but stay away from the areas known to have more crime as they pose a higher risk of you being mugged or harassed. Try to explore the town during working hours and see the sights in a group after dark since reckless behavior by others may be more common in the streets at night. Don't tell a stranger where you're staying and lock doors when you're by yourself, just to be safe property wise.

Safest neighborhoods in Oxford

The reality of every city is that some neighborhoods are safer than others. Here are a couple of areas with the lowest crime rates; you're secure exploring these places.


Very close to downtown Oxford, Jericho is the place for museums, pubs and markets. It's a trendy area where you can find busy eateries with great places to dine, both indoors and outside.


Summertown is not only the second safest area in Oxford, but it has so much to offer as well. Take a walk down North Parade Avenue, visit J.R.R. Tolkien's house, bring your sports equipment to the Alexandra Park Courts or check out the North Wall Arts Center.

North Central Oxford

The area around North Central Oxford is very safe for tourists as well. Add it to your itinerary of places to visit in Oxford and admire the Gothic style period houses.

Some areas of Oxford are fine to skip; Blackbird Leys, for instance, is known for crime related activities.

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Is Oxford public transportation safe?

The taxis and public transport services in Oxford are safe and reliable, but as we mentioned earlier, don't leave your bags unattended, and look out for petty thieves. Transit hubs like train stations or bus stops have the most pickpockets since it is easier to get away with these crimes in a busy place. It is your responsibility to protect your belongings by keeping them safely tucked away. We also recommend being careful on public transit late at night.

Most people say that Oxford is more easily navigated on foot or by bike since it is not a very big city and most of the attractions are relatively close to one another. You can either rent or buy a cheap second hand bike to use while you're here, but always lock it up when you aren't around to keep it from being stolen.

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Important emergency numbers in Oxford

Life can be unpredictable and sometimes things happen when you don't expect them. Help is only a phone call away, and while you're traveling in the UK make sure that you have these phone numbers as well as your embassy number on hand.

  • Emergency Police, Fire, Ambulance: 999
  • Non-Emergency Police: 101
  • Emergency Security Services: +44 (0)1865 289999
  • Crimestoppers: +44 (0)808 2000 247

Safe travels in Oxford

From the moment you step off the plane at Oxford airport, this incredible city and all of its hidden gems are yours to explore. Keep in mind the travel tips that we've introduced and you'll have a memorable journey filled with unique adventures. If you want to read up a bit more about the city we have other great articles about Oxford. Check out Where to Stay in Oxford: The Ultimate Guide and How to Get Around Oxford.

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