Singapore is among the safest and best places to call home on earth, thanks to the low crime rate. The city-state is inhabited by various nationals who coexist peacefully with the locals, setting a very good example for non-Singaporeans.
Many expatriates have found a second home in the island state and go about their work and life with very little worry, if any, since theft and crime incidents are almost unheard of.
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Mixed feelings on first impressions about bike theft
A traveller from New York staying in Singapore expressed his surprise when he saw a sign outside one of the subway stations that read:
Crime Alert- 7 Bicycle Thefts Reported at this Location in 2012.
The notice had a number to call the police to report any crime incidents.
The sign surprised him in two ways:
- that Singapore had any thieves, and
- that the crime rate was seemingly insignificant, compared to that of New York.
He observed that in Singapore, people were used to leaving their belongings unsupervised on a coffee tabletop as they went to buy coffee and would then come back to find their things untouched.
He recalled his trips to the supermarket, when he would leave his bike outside, unlocked, and then take several minutes in the store before returning to his bike, which he would always find untouched.
Crunching the figures on bike theft
As the traveller continued to observe things, he was surprised to discover that only one bicycle had been stolen outside that subway station during a time span of 52 days, a huge difference compared to the situation in New York, where 7 bikes are stolen each second. With the Big Apple doing a lot to promote uptake of cycling, and with ever more bikes around, the thefts weren’t that surprising.
Considering the population of Singapore was 5.3 million, compared to 8.2 million in New York, Singapore’s monthly bike theft rate per million people was 23.6, while New York’s was 29.5. The figures show a big difference.
Singaporean cyclists view the bike theft rate
The traveller was interested to discover how Singaporean bikers perceived the numbers on bike theft rate. He asked one Chinese man for his view on the theft rate, and this man responded that the numbers were not actually that high, but that police put the signs up to scare people so they will lock their bicycles and be more careful. Also, the police wanted people to put stickers on their bikes to better trace them if they were to be stolen.
The visitor inquired as to how to obtain the sticker and was directed to a nearby police post. He headed there, and an officer quickly approached him to help out, upon seeing the traveller with a bike. The traveller wanted to understand how the label worked, only to find that it would not really help much. According to the police officer, it was mainly a deterrent.
The biker noted that although the system to prevent bike theft in Singapore was not so effective, he felt his bike was safer in Singapore than in New York. However, the experience of riding in Singapore was still something he was getting used to compared to New York.
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