Jakarta ranks last in 'Safe Cities Index 2015' report
Sumnima Dewan and Sita W. Dewi
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta sits at the bottom of the list of 50 cities in the overall Safe Cities Index 2015, an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report released on Monday.
The EIU launched the index by assessing urban safety and security among 50 cities across five continents. The report is based on the relative safety of a city in four categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety.
Jakarta ranks 45th in the personal safety category, followed by Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Moscow and Santiago at the bottom.
Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama admitted that Jakarta was still not safe. 'It is indeed not a safe city yet [that's why] we plan to install CCTVs across the capital,' he said, pointing out that the city aimed to install 2,500 CCTVs, this year alone.
The report highlighted ongoing debate about CCTVs, citing studies that say ubiquitous cameras do not have a significant impact on crime rates. In London, which has a camera for every six citizens, issues about privacy violations have also been raised.
'In any case, such arguments are not deterring city governments or the vendors that supply them. Research by electronics.ca, an electronics industry market research network, estimates that the video surveillance market will be worth almost US$38 billion by 2015,' the report says.
Last year, the Jakarta Police's year-end report found that 213 out of every 100,000 Jakartans were victims of various crimes.
Singapore leads the personal safety category, followed by two Asian cities ' Osaka and Tokyo.
The capital of Japan ranks the highest in digital security. It is among four other Asian cities in the top five ' Singapore, Hong Kong and Osaka. In contrast, Jakarta is ranked 48th in digital security based on factors such as a dedicated cyber security team, privacy policies and the frequency of identity theft. It is followed by Istanbul and Tehran.
According to data from the Communications and Information Ministry last year, more than 82 million Indonesian citizens are active Internet users. In 2011 and 2012, Jakarta Police recorded 1,120 police reports centering on online scams.
Jakarta's highest ranking was in health security at the 44th spot. The category measures a city's health security based on factors such as the ratio of hospital beds to population size and number of doctors per 1,000 people. It also looked at robust healthcare facilities in the event of disease outbreak or natural disasters.
Zurich holds the top position, followed by New York and Brussels, respectively.
Megacities such as Jakarta that have more than 10 million inhabitants attract a high number of migrants.
'Just providing basic security such as policing is becoming very difficult, and the majority of the megacities are suffering from that,' says Vivien Carli (in the report).
Zurich ranked first in infrastructure safety, which was based on the quality of roads, accidents and deaths from natural disasters. Asian cities Tokyo ranked fifth followed by Singapore at seven. In contrast, Jakarta is listed at 48th place, followed by Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City.
Jakarta is prone to floods and every year the annual problem claim lives. Last year, floods claimed 23 lives while in 2013 the city recorded 27 people died in floods.
The report states that the results should not be considered as a comprehensive list of the world's safest cities. Thus, it points out that Jakarta, ranked last, is not necessarily the most dangerous place to live in the world.
Sumnima Dewan is an intern at The Jakarta Post.
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