Singapore’s crime rate is so low that many shops don’t even lock up
For many businesses, velvet ropes and tarps covering their goods are enough
By Uptin Saiidi
Singapore was recently ranked second on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index for 2017, coming in just behind Tokyo.
In 2016, the island nation’s police reported 135 total days without any crimes including snatch-theft, house break-ins and robbery. That low crime rate means many small businesses enjoy little concern about shoplifting.
In fact, as CNBC recently observed, many local businesses take few precautions when closing shop at night.
For instance, in the ground floor lobby of a mixed-use building in the downtown business district, many shops don’t have windows, locks — or even doors.
A Starbucks located in Raffles Place, one of Singapore’s busiest underground train stations has no formal doors. Rather, a small rope indicates when the store is closed, and merchandise is all still displayed and within an arm’s length of commuters.
But of course, surveillance is highly prevalent in the city-state, which boasts about 5.5 million people.
Last year, Singapore’s police force announced an initiative, PolCam 2.0, in which it will roll out tens of thousands of additional surveillance cameras. In it’s first initiative in 2012, the Police installed more than 62,000 cameras.