JAKARTA, Indonesia (UPDATED) – How safe is Indonesia’s bustling capital? Apparently not very, according to the Safe Cities Index 2015 released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on Monday.
In the list, which includes 50 large cities worldwide including Moscow, Mumbai and Mexico – chosen based on factors such as regional representation and availability of data – Jakarta sits at the very bottom. Below Tehran.
Which one is the safest? The world’s most populous city – Tokyo – is also the safest. The Japanese capital performs most strongly in the digital security category, 3 points ahead of Singapore, which is in second place.
“Safety is closely linked to wealth and economic development,” the report says. “Unsurprisingly, a division emerges in the Index between cities in developed markets, which tend to fall into the top half of the overall list, and cities in developing markets, which appear in the bottom half.”
Therefore the rich Asian cities – Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka – occupy the top 3 positions in the Index, while poorer neighbors – Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta – fill two of the bottom three positions.
Top 5 in the Safe Cities Index 2015
Bottom 5 in the Safe Cities Index 2015
How Jakarta scored
The report scored the 50 cities on 4 categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure safety, and personal safety. And in all of them, Jakarta hovered near the bottom.
The Indonesian capital’s highest rank is on health security, at number 44, although it falls to the bottom again in certain sub-indicators, such as the number of doctors per 1,000 people.
In this category, Zurich sits on top of the list. In fact 6 European cities, with their universal healthcare systems, were in the top 10 in this category.
The Indonesian capital’s worst scores were in digital security and infrastructure safety, where it sat third from the bottom.
Under infrastructure safety, which scored cities based on factors such as the quality of its roads and the number of deaths from natural disasters, Jakarta was ranked worse than the Indian cities of Mumbai and Delhi.
On digital security, cities were scored based on factors such as dedicated cyber security teams and the frequency of identity theft. Here, it’s not surprising that Tokyo and Singapore were ranked first and second, respectively.
On personal safety, Jakarta is number 45, below Guangzhou and above Sao Paulo. While Jakarta is not the worst performer when it comes to violent crime, the incidence of petty crime in the city is high, according to the report.
Is Jakarta really unsafe?
"Indonesia’s crime rate is lower than similar crimes reported in many large, western hemisphere cities," the 2014 security report from the US Department of State's Overseas Security Advisory Council stated.
It reported that in 2013, there were 13,440 violent crimes reported in the capital of almost 10 million: 105 murders; 70 rapes; 2,249 aggravated assaults; 101 kidnappings; 5,805 burglaries; 1,440 thefts; and 3,670 vehicle thefts.
In 2014, the Jakarta Police recorded a 5.71% decrease in total criminal cases recorded from 51,444 in 2013 to 48,503 in 2014.
In South Jakarta alone, police said a crime was committed every 2 hours and 11 minutes in 2014, an improvement from the year before, when a crime occurred every 1 hour and 44 minutes, according to Tempo.co. The statistics didn't distinguish between violent and petty crime.