An American tourist visiting Singapore has gone viral online after expressing disbelief at the sight of a $15,000 road bike left unattended on the street. Nick Whitaker, the tourist, shared a photo of the yellow Pinarello Dogma F12 leaning against a wall next to a coffee shop, sparking conversations about the contrasting crime rates between Singapore and the United States.
Singapore, known for its tough stance on crime, boasts some of the lowest crime rates in the world. With only 10,080 physical crime cases reported in the first half of 2023, the island nation's crime rates remain significantly lower than pre-Covid levels. In fact, a recent Safe Cities Index ranked Singapore third in terms of safety, behind Copenhagen and Toronto.
Social media users have been quick to question how Singapore manages to control crime while major US cities are experiencing a surge in criminal activities. Travel writer Charlie Hub shared a personal experience of witnessing an expensive bag left unattended in Singapore, expressing relief at no longer needing to be constantly vigilant. Others have praised Singapore's "extremely strong deterrence" and strict controls on who can enter the country, creating a remarkably safe society with a law-abiding culture.
The viral post has reignited a discussion on the importance of civility and crime prevention. Users have argued that Singapore's approach to safety should be the norm worldwide, highlighting it as a policy success. Former NFL player Jake Bequette even stated that America could achieve similar levels of safety if its leaders prioritized tackling crime.
However, visitors to Singapore should be aware of the country's strict laws, including severe penalties for offences such as serious drug crimes, "outrage of modesty," and public drunkenness. The nation also enforces strict rules on activities such as smoking in public places or restaurants, spitting, chewing gum, littering, and jaywalking.
While the American tourist's astonishment at the low crime rate in Singapore may reflect a stark contrast with the US, it also raises important questions about the measures that can be taken to create safer communities worldwide. Singapore's successful crime prevention strategies serve as a testament to the effectiveness of strong deterrence and a law-abiding culture.