Despite what your taxi driver may tell you, Lisbon is the safest city in Europe.
Although coverage of crime in the mainstream Portuguese media generates a sense of insecurity among the locals, a study conducted by a polling group — including Gallup, EU and the UN’s UNICRI agencies — has found that Lisbon is the safest [large] city in the European Union.
Instead of using police crime registries, researchers interviewed thousands of residents (between 1,200 and 5,000) in 18 countries to ask about their own personal experiences with crime.
The “European Crime and Safety Survey” said the Portuguese capital was the safest city in Europe. Only one in ten residents reported that they had ever been affected by crime.
At the opposite end of the scale, the report, published earlier this week, unveils London as the most dangerous capital in which to live. London topped the crime league table, with 30 percent of the British capital’s residents saying they had been the victim of theft or burglaries.
Besides London, other crime hotspots identified by researchers were the Irish Republic, Estonia, Netherlands and Denmark, where “insecurity” rates were all at least 30 percent above the European average.
From what we have seen and heard personally, the crimes that do occur in Lisbon tend to be small crimes of oportunity, like pickpocketing. Violent crime of any sort is very rare. As in any big city, though, caution and common sense should be exercised, especially at night or in secluded areas.
What are you waiting for? Come visit the safest city in Europe!
Foto: Peg Achterman