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Australia drops from 37 to 50 among countries ranked by residents’ own feelings of safety

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This is the result of more people feeling safe around the world, rather than Australians feeling less safe than before.

Australia ranks 50 among all countries for how safe its citizens feel in their communities, according to Gallup's 2018 Law and Order Report.

Australia ranks behind most other English speaking countries like Canada, Ireland, UK, US and New Zealand – as well as behind unexpected countries like Indonesia, China, Egypt, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Serbia.

The results are based on interviews in which more than 148,000 adults from 142 countries were asked the following four questions:

  • In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the local police force?
  • Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
  • Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member?
  • Within the past 12 months, have you been assaulted or mugged?

Countries were then given a score from 0 to 100, with 0 effectively meaning "not safe at all" and 100 effectively meaning "completely safe".

Australia scored 82 compared to the relatively similar score of 84 the year before. The highest this year was Singapore with 97 and the lowest was Venezuela with 44.

None of this is to say Australians feel unsafe. The reason the country is quite far down the list is more a reflection of an overall sense of security felt globally than a reflection of unsatisfactory conditions in Australia.

According to the report, more than two-thirds of people worldwide have confidence in their local police and feel safe walking around at night in their neighbourhoods.

Only 1 in 8 have had something stolen from them or from someone they live with within the last 12 months, and only 5% have been assaulted or mugged within the last 12 months.

In Australia, 23% of homeowners have experienced burglary at some point in their lives, and are being encouraged to secure their homes with the right security systems and home and contents insurance.

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