Zealand is often marketed to migrants, students and tourists as a “safe place”. However, the country has a problem with crime, poverty and digital security that is more comparable to what one would find in a developing country.
If you’re looking for a safe place in these turbulent times you may wish to look for somewhere other than New Zealand.
The Economist Safe Cities Index is a report that takes account of 40 qualitative and quantitative indicators under 4 main areas : Personal safety, Infrastructure Safety, Health Security, and Digital Security. It focuses on 50 countries selected for their regional representation and availability of data.
You probably won’t come across the Safe Cities Index in the New Zealand media. Not a single location in New Zealand made the cut.
Within Australasia, Sydney and Melbourne were placed 4th and 5th respectively (see the graphic at the top of this page).
Tokyo, despite its earthquake and tsunami hazards, is placed first within the Asia-Pacific, Singapore second. At the bottom of the region lie Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta.
Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington are nowhere to be seen.
These are the top 20 cities worldwide
Here’s some take-home points from the report, you may find these useful in your decision making process. They also give a hint as to why New Zealand isn’t among the safest places to live and why you should look elsewhere.
Tokyo tops the overall ranking.
The world’s most populous city is also the safest in the Index. The Japanese capital performs most strongly in the digital security category, three points ahead of Singapore in second place.Tokyo also ranks in the top five for personal safety and infrastructure safety, despite suffering regular earthquakes and being home to the world’s largest urban population (38m, according to the UN). Meanwhile, Jakarta is at the bottom of the list of 50 cities in the Index. The Indonesian capital only rises out of the bottom five places in the health security category (44).
Safety is closely linked to wealth and economic development.
Unsurprisingly,a division emerges in the Index between cities in developed markets, which tend to fall into the top half of the overall list, and cities in developing markets, which appear in the bottom half. Significant gaps in safety exist along these lines within regions. Rich Asian cities (Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka) occupy the top three positions in the Index,while poorer neighbours (Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta) fill two of the bottom three positions.
Collaboration on safety is critical in a complex urban environment.
Now that a growing number of essential systems are interconnected, city experts stress the need to bring together representatives from government, business and the community before threats to safety and security strike.Some cities have appointed an official to co-ordinate this citywide resilience. With the evolution of online threats transcending geographical boundaries, such co-ordination will increasingly be called for between cities.
The top half of the Index is generally occupied by rich cities from Europe, East Asia and North America. Meanwhile, the likes of Bangkok (39) and Ho Chi Minh City (48) join Jakarta in the bottom half, alongside all of the main cities of the BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa):São Paulo (40), Moscow (43), Delhi(42), Beijing (37) and Johannesburg (47).
Out of the 50 cities, only Zurich and Mexico City get the same rank in the overall index as they do in the indicator that measures the perception of safety among their citizens. Urban citizens in the US, for instance, tend to feel less safe than they should, based on their city’s position in the Index. The challenge for city leaders is to translate progress on safety into changing public perceptions. But cities also aspire to be attractive places to live in. So smart solutions, such as intelligent lighting, should be pursued over ubiquitous cameras or gated communities.
Small cities (500k – 1 m) account for the majority of the world’s fastest-growing cities. 11% of the urban population live in small cities, eg Frankfurt (20).Some of the cities that appear in the top ten of the Safe Cities Index are relatively small. The population of Amsterdam, which is in position 5, is roughly 780,000. Zurich, at number 7 overall and first for health security), has an even smaller population of 380,000. However, some cities face the challenge of delivering a safe urban environment for a much larger number of residents.
Deciding where to live is a personal choice for many city residents. For some, safety will be paramount. Others will prioritise culture and creativity. Two neighbours may hold opposite views on democracy and the cost of living. But often a decision will be based on a mixture of reasons: an entrepreneur looking for the best city to start a business may also intend to start a family.
To provide a broad picture of how cities perform, the report tracked how the 50 cites in the Index perform across a range of other indexes created by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Three of these indexes are at the city level (Safe Cities, Liveability Rankings, Cost of Living) and three are at the country level (Business Environment Rankings, Democracy Index, Global Food Security Index). The average rankings for the 25 best-performing cities are set out here.Toronto (8) in Canada is a consistent performer across the five other indexes, putting it top overall.
UPDATED 7AM: A man is in police custody after a woman was stabbed multiple times overnight. Police were notified at 7.05pm that a woman had been stabbed at the Sapphire Springs Holiday Park, Katikati, says a police spokesperson.
“A 42-year-old man was taken into custody in relation to the incident.
A few days later on 4th of March a woman was raped as she walked through the suburb of Selwyn. She walked from Meijer Drive onto North Belt at around 6.30 pm, it was still daylight at the time of the attack. source