08 August 2008

Crime In Singapore

Singapore is often promoted as a "fine" city with just about every little indiscretion resulting in a potential fine. However, it would seem that Singapore is just not producing enough bad boys and girls to warrant the continued construction of two more prisons within the Changi Prison Complex.

This sounds like Singapore would be a good place to live, particularly if you are interested in places with a low crime rate and seemingly a safe place live, work, and raise a family. The problem though, at least as it appears, is that Singapore has an aging population. Aside from not producing enough criminals to fill its prisons, Singapore may have to embark on a more aggressive approach to get Singaporeans to procreate or facilitate greater numbers of immigrants arriving in the island State.

There are just 11,768 prisoners in Singapore at the moment. This is apparently a ten-year low that is to get lower still. So, if the crime rate is projected to fall even further then the numbers of new prisoners coming into the system is likely to be a lot less than any new prisoners coming into the system. This falling crime rate is reflected in the statistics which show that crime per 100,000 people fell from 974 occurrences in 1997 to 696 in 2007. It seems that recidivism rates are also falling which means less former prisoners are returning to the system. The recidivism rate has dropped from 50% in 1997 to about 25% in 2005.

I was in Singapore a week or so ago. I have always felt particularly safe wandering around the streets of Singapore late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. I do not mind going to Singapore every now and then as a means of escaping the chaos that is Jakarta. It is nice to be able to take air-conditioned public transport like buses and the MRT, walk around on well-maintained footpaths, have cars stop at red lights and pedestrian crossings, and generally to be able to wander around without the "hey mister" thing following me everywhere! However, after a few days of order it is also always nice to get back to the chaos that is Jakarta.


Brett said...

"The problem though, at least as it appears, is that Singapore has an aging population."

That and they're boring. ;-P

Rob Baiton said...

well, I might have been giving them the benefit of the doubt on the boring front :D

cls said...

Trust me, my dear, YOU were the most dangerous thing in Singapore while I lived there!

Rob Baiton said...


Really? And I did not pass through all that often :D