Asia

Singapore again tops Gallup law and order survey measuring public perceptions of safety

SINGAPORE – Singapore has topped an index of public perceptions of law and order for at least the sixth year in a row.

It tied with Turkmenistan for the top rank in the Gallup 2020 Global Law and Order Report released earlier this week.

Both countries scored 97 out of a possible 100, higher than the world average of 82. The higher the score, the higher the proportion of the population that reported feeling safe.

China, which has a score of 94, was next on the list, followed by Iceland and Kuwait, which both scored 93. Austria, Norway, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan were also in the top 10, with a score of 92.

The results were based on face-to-face or telephone interviews conducted by Gallup with nearly 175,000 people aged 15 and older, in 144 countries and areas in 2019, before the global Covid-19 pandemic.

In Singapore, 1,040 people were polled from July to November last year. This was done face to face in English and Chinese, according to Gallup data.

The survey asked four questions to gauge people’s sense of security and experience with crime and law enforcement.

Respondents were asked if they had confidence in the local police force in the area where they lived, and if they felt safe walking alone at night.

They were also asked if they had money or property stolen from them or someone living with them in the last 12 months, or if they had been assaulted or mugged in the same period.

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Singapore has topped the index since at least 2015. Its score of 97 has remained the same since the 2017 report.

Gallup said 97 per cent of Singapore respondents felt safe walking alone at night, while globally, nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) said in 2019 they felt that way where they lived and had confidence in their local police (69 per cent).

About one in eight (12 per cent) said they had property stolen from them or another household member in the past year, and 6 per cent said they were assaulted or mugged.

War-torn Afghanistan ranked the lowest for a second consecutive year, with a score of 43. Just 12 per cent of Afghans in 2019 said they felt safe walking alone in their area at night.

Hong Kong’s score dropped to 76, down from 91 in 2018, the last year it was included in the index. This followed widespread protests against the government sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill.

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