Is safety your number one priority? If you answered yes, then you’re in luck. According to the Safe Cities Index of 2015 released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore is ranked second only to Tokyo as the safest city in the world.
It’s no surprise that the wealthy cities of Europe, East Asia, and North America dominated across all four categories: Digital Security, Health Security, Infrastructure Safety and Personal Safety. Singapore did relatively well, topping the charts in personal safety — which measures a city’s level of crime and illegal activity — but faring poorly in health security.
Singapore also ranked second after Tokyo with a score of 83.85 out of 100 in digital security, which measures how ready a city is to deal with cybercrime activities and how frequently its cyber security is breached.
This is mostly due to efforts to establish a Monitoring and Operations Control Centre, which will arm the government with the tools needed to tackle cybercrime. Last week, for example, we wrote about the plans announced by the Prime Minister’s Office to tighten cyber security, with the appointment of Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, to oversee Singapore’s cyber security.
2014 was the year of cybercrime: we panicked over the Heartbleed bug, worried about whether mobile malware would hit us and leak all our embarrassing selfies, and hoped our credit card information remained secure from hackers targeting banks and online sites like eBay.
The Annual Crime Brief 2014 released by the Singapore Police Force indicated a whopping $8.8million worth of loss over Internet love scams — the highest across various cybercrimes. And we’re not even talking about the 197 broken hearts that no amount of money will be able to repair.
Singapore did comparatively worse in health security and infrastructure safety, taking only the 12th and 7th position respectively. The former was possibly due to the poor air quality caused by haze from Indonesia, and the latter was bolstered by the safe construction of new infrastructure, and the maintenance of old ones with the aid of technology.
Interestingly, the report also found that Singaporeans maintained a higher level of vigilance than necessary, ranking 4th on a scale measuring locals’ perceived safety. It seems that despite a decade-long low of violent and petty crimes in Singapore, locals still don’t think Singapore is as safe as it seems.
A possible explanation could be that we are diehard kiasi Singaporeans, and the 570 additional surveillance cameras installed on local police cars and motorcycles have created some form of Dark Knight paranoia in us.
In any case, better safe than sorry.