Everyone wants to live somewhere safe, although ‘safety’ can cover a whole range of variables. Some may prioritise civil freedoms, such as freedom of speech, whilst others consider low crime rates an accurate reflection of a country’s safety.
Western states, such as the US, UK and France, hold themselves up as examples of safety on the global stage. Both the UK and France invest heavily in welfare systems, to protect their citizens from hardship or personal health concerns, whilst America has historically provided a safe haven for those whose freedoms have been compromised abroad (earning the title ‘the free world'). However, it may surprise you that none of these countries appear in the top 10; in fact, America sits at number 88 on the global rankings.
A government’s decision to decriminalise certain activities necessarily drops recorded crime rates; however The Netherlands (which has famously decriminalised many controversial activities including prostitution and marijuana consumption) also misses out on a place on this list. This may demonstrate that crime rates are based on the quality of enforcement, not the volume of crimes which are being enforced.
So what do these countries do to produce such low levels of crime? For many on this list safety is an economic necessity, either as centres of trade or due to the importance of tourism. A cultural respect for the police (usually as a result of low levels of corruption) also helps to maintain law and order.
The eclectic mix of cultures on this list demonstrates that there is no one perfect formula for a safe society. What works in one region may have disastrous consequences if implemented elsewhere. It is not the decisions of a single government, but rather the combined history of many policies which produces order and safety within a society.
Thanks to information from the FBI and World Bank, compiled by statisticbrain.com, we've been able to narrow down the world's 10 countries with the highest safety rate variables, and the lowest rates of crime. Read on to find out what makes for a truly safe society.
10 Singapore, 80.02 Safety Rate Variable
9 Bahrain, 80.21 Safety Rate Variable
8 Georgia, 80.43 Safety Rate Variable
7 Luxembourg, 81.25 Safety Rate Variable
6 Malta, 81.46 Safety Rate Variable
5 United Arab Emirates, 81.99 Safety Rate Variable
4 South Korea, 82.6 Safety Rate Variable
3 Hong Kong, 83.43 Safety Rate Variable
2 Taiwan, 83.74 Safety Rate Variable
1 Japan, 86.89 Safety Rate Variable
Japan boasts a crime rate variable of only 13.1 and walking the streets during the day or night poses little or no threat to personal safety. Law enforcement in Japan follows a European-style structure and police officials hold great authority and respect within communities. Police are called on as respected third-party advisors to settle family quarrels and minor disputes and public attitudes towards them are favourable across the country. Japan is currently battling the media to prove that the nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant no longer poses a threat to personal safety, with hundreds of pounds of fish caught off Onjuku being tested amid concerns that they may be contaminated by radiation.
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