Trust and safety

Trust and safety in a society reflect how people feel that their freedom of movement and their property are protected. A high level of personal trust and safety can promote openness and transparency in society, social interaction and cohesion.

People, in general, feel safe walking alone at night: over 70% of people in the Asia/Pacific region and OECD countries would agree (Figure 6.7). However, there is a gender gap as in all countries women are less likely to report feeling safe walking alone at night. The gender gap accounts for close to or less than 5 percentage points in Hong Kong (China), Singapore and Tajikistan, while Australian and New Zealand women are much less likely (by around 30 percentage points) than men to report they feel safe walking home at night. On average, the difference is about 15 percentage points in OECD countries and 13 percentage points in the Asia/Pacific region.

Almost 96% of Singaporeans feel comfortable being on the street at night, which is close to 90% in China, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. By contrast, less than 60% of the population in Bhutan, Malaysia and Nepal feel safe walking home at night. (Figure 6.7).

The crime rate has decreased in some countries in the Asia/Pacific region (Figure 6.8): on average the reported crime rates in countries for which data are available have decreased by about 30 percentage points since 2008. However, this masks considerable variation in country experiences; reported crime rates declined significantly in New Zealand and Sri Lanka since 2008 whereas they increased most in Armenia, India and Kazakhstan.

Confidence in law enforcement is relatively high overall (Figure 6.9). Over 70% of the population in the Asia/Pacific region and OECD countries trust the local police. This proportion is highest at over 85% of respondents in Indonesia, Singapore and Uzbekistan. Less than 60% of respondents in Armenia trust their local police, but this is nowhere as low as in Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan where only half of the respondents have faith in the police.

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