Bukit Timah found to be safest district in Singapore, while Yishun North is the most crime-prone

Photo: PeanutButterJames / Flickr
Photo: PeanutButterJames / Flickr

Singapore is deemed the safest country in the world where citizens feel the most secure — but where exactly do residents feel most at peace in their homes?

The place to be is apparently Bukit Timah, the neighborhood found to be the safest in the entire nation, according to a study conducted by financial research and analysis specialists ValuePenguin. Using crime data compiled by the Singapore Police Force and its Neighbourhood Police Centres from 2012 to 2016, research analyst William Hoffman identified five districts with the least amount of crimes reported and five others that are more prone to criminal activities. The rankings take into account a variety of felonies, including robbery, housebreaking, snatch theft, motor vehicle theft, unlicensed moneylending, as well as unlicensed moneylending harassment.

Spoiler alert: The neighborhood considered the least safe is none other than Yishun North. But you probably guessed that already thanks to its infamous siao lang town reputation.

The fact that Bukit Timah is found to have the least crimes compared to the country shouldn’t be that surprising as well. The district is known to be a residential location for the affluent, with one of the highest densities of private housing (luxury bungalows, terraces, etc) and expensive properties to boot. You’d think that such a premier location would attract larcenists, but the ValuePenguin study indicates that crimes have actually declined 43 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Other districts in the top tier of the list include Bishan in second place, Kampong Java in third place and Marine Parade in fourth. Sembawang is (gasp!) the fifth safest neighborhood in the country, with no robberies or snatch thefts and just one car theft in 2016. Surprising, because of its geographical proximity to Yishun.

Graphic: ValuePenguin Singapore

The five neighborhoods with the most crimes reported have a common strain: they’re usually at the edges of the country. Yishun North is deemed the most crime-ridden, with the highest number of moneylending harassment cases and recording the highest number of crimes in Singapore back in 2016. Two areas in the west of Jurong are considered high-crime hotspots, with Nanyang having more cases of outrage of modesty than other places in the country, while Jurong West struggles with house break-ins.

Over to the east side, Tampines follows close behind with snatch thefts, robberies, car thefts, and unlicensed moneylending. Over in the north, Woodlands East is burdened by moneylending harassment and car theft.

Graphic: ValuePenguin Singapore

Regardless of your neighborhood’s position in the ranking, the analysis found that crime rate has decreased by 15 percent across the country in the last decade. Furthermore, the list doesn’t include developments and improvements made over the course of 2017, so it could very well be that your hoods are much safer now. Yes, you too, diehard Yishun-ites.

Or maybe not. “Over the past five years, neighborhoods on either end of the spectrum tended to remain there consistently, with little movement in their rankings,” said Hoffman. Whoops.


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