Expats should be more concerned about high housing costs and the initial effects of the culture shock than about their level of safety in Singapore. The city-state is highly-developed, incredibly stable and remains one of the safest countries in the world
Furthermore, the already low crime rate continues to decrease, and according to statistics released by the Singapore Police in 2010, instances of harassment, petty theft, crimes against elderly persons and statutory rape are on the decline. It’s also been reported that the crimes that are committed in Singapore are generally opportunistic, and are non-violent and non-confrontational (i.e. Theft of unattended property, pick pocketing and purse snatching).
Expats should nonetheless take normal security precautions in Singapore.
- Lock you doors and windows when not at home
- Keep valuables out of plain sight
- Be mindful of your possessions when in crowded public places; most petty theft occurs in the airport, on public transport, in high-traffic tourist areas and in nightclubs, hotels and bars
- Do not walk alone in deserted areas after dark
In fact, expats in Singapore will find that, more often than not, the consequences associated with law-breaking are far scarier than being victimised by crime; and foreigners are subject to the same harsh treatment meted out to locals.
Vandalism offences are punishable by caning, certain narcotics offences carry a mandatory death sentence, and anyone caught engaging in sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18 will face a lengthy prison sentence.
Overall though, if you behave in Singapore, you’ll enjoy a safe and secure foray into expat life.
Road safety in Singapore
Expats will find that road conditions in Singapore mirror the state of other examples of its world-class infrastructure. Streets, highways and thoroughfares are well-lit, well-paved and even include English language signage.
A strong police presence minimises speeding, and expats should keep within limits even when no law enforcement officials seem to be in the vicinity, speed cameras are common.