Fifteen years ago if you told friends you were going to Cambodia, they’d be quick to point out that it was a dangerous nation – on account of the landmines. But these days, with most of the minefields rendered safe, the three areas of fear are health, road safety and crime.
I thought I’d look up some reasonably recent figures (most crime data are 5 years old) and compare these figures to those in the USA.
First of all – perceptions. A global survey asked citizens in each country how serious the crime rates are and whether they believe crime is “High” in their country. Put it this way, in Venezuela (2014) 97% felt crime rates were high in their country. By contrast, 56% of USA citizens surveyed felt that crime was high in America. (39% in Canada.) Meanwhile 38% of Cambodians felt that crime is High in Cambodia. And the lowest fear of serious crime? Japan and Singapore each boasted a mere 13% of respondents feeling that crime is High in their respective countries.
That was perception. How about reality? What is the intentional homicide rate per 100,000 people in various countries? Again, let’s go to the top of the table: the Central Americas and Caribbean nations don’t look too safe. Honduras (2016) delivered 57 intentional murder victims per 100,000 people, Jamaica came in 5th with 47 victims of intentional homicide (2016 figures) per 100,000 people.
So how does trigger-happy America compare? The US has 5.3 intentional homicides per 100,000 people (2016) which is about the same as Cuba (4.99 per 100,000, 2016), and Thailand (3.2 per 100,000, 2016.)
Cambodia’s figures are, unfortunately older (2011) and at that stage the intentional homicide rate was 1.84 per 100,000. That’s about the same as Idaho and Maine.
Compare that to the UK (1.2 per 100,000) Australia (0.94 per 100,000, 2010) or Hong Kong which almost makes the bottom of the table (0.38 per 100,000) but is pipped by Monaco where, according to 2015 figures, zero homicides took places.
By the way these figures are look-uppable on Wikipedia Site where they quote United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime figures. Note these figures are at some variance compared to those published on NationMaster website which compares different nations on a wide range of issues. I trust the UN figures more – but the definitions may account for this. The UN cites intentional homicides per 100,000. NationMaster reports “murders per 100,000.”
For a real crime story in Siem Reap: Big Trouble at Killing Fields Pagoda