Despite horror stories you’ve heard about pollution, expired meat etc, Shanghai is the safest city in China according to a joint survey conducted by Insight China and Tsinghua University that ranked areas based on what residents said about their own sense of security, Shanghai Daily reports.
Okay, not the most concrete criteria, especially considering that it used a vague “Chinese safety index” of five major categories: social security, health safety, production safety, economy safety and psychological security – none of which were clearly defined. Yeah, might’ve been nice if they used actual crime statistics, but we digress.
Residents attribute their sense of security to the massive police and surveillance camera presence. Said one resident, “I am not worried at all running alone late at night. Because every time I go home around 11pm, I see at least several patrol cars.”
And speaking as a transplant from the US, I find it incredible that no matter who you are – old lady, scantily-clad foreign exchange student – you can stand on any street corner at any hour of the night, and the worst you’ll likely get is a weird look. Try that in any other city of 25 million people or more.
According to 2013 crime and safety report by OSAC, “when compared with large urban areas in other countries, Shanghai fairs as a very safe city. The 98 percent conviction rate enjoyed by the judicial system, the flexibility of their law, and a large police and security service presence throughout the city serves to deter most crimes.”
OSAC reports that the most common crimes in Shanghai are pick pocketing, credit card fraud, black cabs, and various financial scams. Violent crime is less common, but when it does occur, it’s often in the form of bar fights in the “expatriate community due to cultural miscommunication, xenophobia, and alcohol.”
And I quote: “The greatest road hazard remains the Chinese driver; most have little experience operating motor vehicles and are either overly cautious or aggressive, resulting in accidents every day” (yes, OSAC proved that the ‘Chinese driver’ stereotype is true).
Beijing was ranked China’s second safest city, although many of the Northern cities are becoming rapidly less safe due to the spike in separatist attacks.