New Zealand is the “Safest Country of the World in 2013,”at least it is according to ClickTop10.com. (Note to my family and friends: here is another reason to come for a visit!)
As an American expat living in New Zealand it is nice to read that I am in the safest country in the world, even if I never heard of the rating agency before today. It certainly speaks to that occasional question in the back of my mind, “Did we do the right thing moving here?”
Generally, I don’t have to go far to see the answer. New Zealand is stunning!
Photo ©Rhonda Albom 2007 (available on Amazon)
Beauty, however, doesn’t mean safety. What is the measurement criteria to determine the safest country in the world? I wondered that myself, especially after reading the article with no resources sited. The author did mention New Zealand’s “great foreign policy and stable political scenario” as well as a “crime rate of less than one percent.”
Being a bit of a skeptic, I researched that number, checking out the latest New Zealand Crime Statistics for 2012/2013 (published in Oct 2013) and not only found total crimes in the time period to be 821 per 10,000 population, the total crime rate is down 7.4% from last year.
So far, today is another slow news day. The top five national headlines in today’s New Zealand Herald’s on-line version of the national newspaper have no criminal activity. Although, the second is rather annoying in its own right:
- Air NZ’s new Hobbit-themed plane
- Blogger ‘incredulous’ over ruling
- Greens challenger calls for ‘strike’
- Team NZ skipper helps Franklin Rd set sail
- Bus drivers pinged on nature’s call
So, do serious crimes happen here? Of course they do, just less often than other places. Maybe it’s because we live in paradise, or, maybe it’s because the police get the criminals off the streets quickly. According to the report, police resolved 72 of last year’s 78 “Homicide and Related Offences” (a category that also includes “driving causing death”).
With theft accounting for 32% of all New Zealand crimes, the sign we saw back in January makes more sense. It suggests visitors pay $2 for the presence of parking lot attendant, as just his being there would deter criminals, even though all he does is sit in his truck.
On a recent visit to Auckland’s waterfront, I spotted this sign in a car window. Poor guy has probably had to replace a window or two before he created it. I did laugh at his friendliness and use of the words “please” and “cheers mate.”
What should the criteria be for the safest country in the world? What were your top headlines today? Would you leave your car unlocked with a sign in the window?
PS: My apologies for the embarrassing typo last week on: Photo: Moko Traditional Maori Face or Body Tattoo – New Zealand. Don’t worry, it’s fixed now.