Arab countries score low on crime, highest on safety in world survey

A police patrol car in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where crime levels are low and people say they are the safest (Shutterstock)
Updated 09 August 2017

Arab countries score low on crime, highest on safety in world survey

DUBAI: Arab cities are the safest places to live in the Asia, Africa and the world, according to the website Numbeo, which analysis data on crime and safety statistics and people’s perceptions.
The list, which is based on the latest information, provides two sets of numbers for the 334 cities listed, a score for crime levels and another for safety.
Abu Dhabi was rated the safest country and for the lowest crime level, both in Asia and the world, while Tunisia came top for safety and low crime in Africa.
The figures are created from a series of surveys and research that look at statistics from countries, but also people’s perceptions of crime and safety.
“(The) Crime Index is an estimation of overall level of crime in a given city or a country,” the Numbeo website explains.
“We consider crime levels lower than 20 as very low, crime levels between 20 and 40 as being low, crime levels between 40 and 60 as being moderate, crime levels between 60 and 80 as being high and finally crime levels higher than 80 as being very high.”
The Safety Index is scored the other way, with the higher number indicating a safer city.
Abu Dhabi scored 13.22 for crime and 86.78 for safety. In contrast San Pedro Sula, in Honduras, scored 84.25 for crime and 15.75 for safety.
While these figures put Abu Dhabi at the top for low crime and safety both in Asia and globally, Dhaka in Bangladesh scored 69.92 for crime and 30.08 for safety.

The top 10 Asian cities with low crime and high safety levels
City Crime Safety
Abu Dhabi, UAE 13.54 86.46
Doha, Qatar 15.87 84.13
Singapore 16.90 83.10
Taipei, Taiwan 17.38 82.62
Tokyo, Japan 19.38 80.62
Dubai, UAE 19.52 80.48
Hong Kong 20.07 79.93
Osaka, Japan 20.13 79.87
Tbilisi, Georgia 20.37 79.63
Bursa, Turkey 21.12 78.88

Perhaps surprising was Kuala Lumpur which had the second worst crime levels of the 91 countries listed for Asia, at 68.53 and 31.47 for safety. Baghdad, in Iraq came 16 with a crime figure of 57.47 and safety scoring 42.53.
Doha came a close second after the UAE capital, scoring 15.71 for crime and 84.29 for safety.
Dubai came in at 331 in the world list and 83 – just five places behind Abu Dhabi – for Asia, with a crime number of 19.52 and 80.48 for safety.

The top 10 African cities with low crime and high safety levels
City Crime Safety
Tunis, Tunisia 36.11 63.89
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 44.46 55.54
Algiers, Algeria 49.99 50.01
Harare, Zimbabwe 51.98 48.02
Casablanca, Morocco 53.24 46.76
Cairo, Egypt 55.96 44.04
Tripoli, Libya 58.06 41.94
Nairobi, Kenya 63.03 36.97
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 65.80 34.20
Lagos, Nigeria 68.08 31.92

Meanwhile Tunis in Tunisia had the lowest crime level for Africa with 36.15 and the highest for safety with 63.85. This was in contrast with Pietermaritzburg with crime at 82.09 and 17.91 for safety.
What the researchers do concede is that a high crime level score can indicate a greater level of reported incidents than other places that score lower rather than a higher crime level.

Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

This file photo taken on March 6, 2003 shows bulbs at the flower market in Amsterdam. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

  • Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring

THE HAGUE: Tourists are being ripped off at Amsterdam’s famous flower market, with just one percent of all bulbs sold at the floating bazaar ever producing a blossom, investigators said Tuesday.
A probe commissioned by the Dutch capital’s municipality and tulip growers also found that often only one flower resembled the pictures on the packaging like color, and that there were fewer bulbs than advertised.
“The probe showed that there is chronic deception of consumers,” at the sale of tulip bulbs at the flower market, the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) said.
“Millions of tourists and day-trippers are being duped,” KAVB chairman Rene le Clercq said in a statement.
Amsterdam and the KAVB have now referred the matter to the Dutch consumer watchdog.
The Amsterdam flower market is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and dates from around 1862, when flower sellers sailed their barges up the Amstel River and moored them in the “Singel” to sell their goods.
Its fame inspired the popular song “Tulips from Amsterdam,” best known for a 1958 version by British entertainer Max Bygraves.
Today the market comprises of a number of fixed barges with little greenhouses on top. Vendors not only sell tulip bulbs but also narcissus, snowdrops, carnations, violets, peonies and orchids.
But of 1,363 bulbs bought from the Singel and then planted, just 14 actually bloomed, the investigation said.
Investigators found a similar problem along the so-called “flower bulb boulevard” in Lisse, a bulb-field town south of Amsterdam where the famous Keukenhof gardens are also situated.
Since first imported from the Ottoman Empire 400 years ago, tulips “have become our national symbol and the bulb industry a main player in the Dutch economy,” said Le Clercq.
But the “deception about the tulip bulbs is a problem that has been existing for the past 20 years,” he added.

The victims are often tourists, KAVB director Andre Hoogendijk said.
“A tourist who buys a bad bulb is not likely to come back,” he told Amsterdam’s local AT5 news channel.
Vendors at the market told AT5 that complaints were known.
“There are indeed stalls here that sell rubbish. That is to everyone’s disadvantage, because it portrays the whole flower market in a bad light,” one unidentified vendor said.
But a spokesperson for the City of Amsterdam said that all vendors were being investigated “and that the results are shocking.”
“So to say that it is only a few stalls is not true,” the spokesperson told AFP in an email.
The probe took place earlier in the year during springtime, the spokesperson said.
“The issue is that you shouldn’t even sell tulip bulbs during the spring. No decent florist shop in Holland does that.”
Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring.