As travel opens up, new list reveals the safest countries to visit

By Sally Burton
Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:30 pm
Updated Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:31 pm

W​ith travel becoming easier due to the relaxing of Covid testing rules, more people will be planning away visits and holidays to far-off destinations.

 And when visiting a different country, it is ​always ​good to know wh​ich areas​ could be potentially dangerous for tourists.

​Recent analysis and rating of ​all ​countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development​​ ​ has revealed some surprising results, with the UK listed among those that fare quite badly in terms of ​safety.

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With low rates across all crimes and scoring the best in the peace index, Iceland​ was found to be​ the safest country.

On the Global Peace Index, Iceland scored 1.1, making it the most peaceful country. It only had 50 searches for keywords related to cybercrime in the past year and its homicide rates were also below 1 per 100,000 people.

Other countries t​o be​ deemed ​'​safer​'​ were Slovenia, Japan, Switzerland and Spain. In fact, Spain is one of the countries with the lowest rates of theft at 354 per 100,000; the only European country with a lower rate is Poland at 271.

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With the average rate of robberies at 120 people per 100,000 and 2,686 for theft, the UK scored an overall score of 4.74, putting it in 5th place in the ranking for minor crimes that include theft and robbery.

For clarity, robbery is when someone steals from a person, using force, while theft is stealing but does not involve the use of force.

Costa Rica came out on top for minor crimes and was found to be the country with the highest rates of robberies at 1,587 people per 100,000. However, when it comes to theft, Sweden and Denmark take the top two spots.

Sweden, which has ranked second for minor crimes, had a theft rate of 3,494 per 100,000 people and Denmark, which ranked third, had a rate of 3,455.

​Other countries ranked within the top ten ​most dangerous for minor crimes include New Zealand, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Chile and Finland.

The safest countries when it comes to theft and robbery include South Korea, Poland and Slovakia.

For major crimes, including homicide and kidnapping, Mexico has been labelled the most dangerous.

Although not the highest, the homicide rate in Mexico is among the highest, with a rate of 29 per 100,000 people.

Other countries ​ranking​ high​ly​ in major crimes include South Korea and Canada.

South Korea was found to have the highest homicide rate amongst the countries that were analysed at 36 per 100,000 and Canada was found to have the highest rate for kidnapping which is at 10 per 100,000.

These findings resulted in both countries being within the top ​five​.

​Other countries topping the list for major crimes, that includes the UK, with one homicide per 100,000 people and seven kidnappings per 100,000 people, are; Belgium, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Colombia ​, Germany and Costa Rica.

Japan, Slovenia and Switzerland are the safest countries for major crimes.

Streets in Japan are among the safest to visit.

Merchant Machine analysed all the OECD countries and ranked them across a number of categories, including theft rates, homicide rates and how peaceful they are, according to the Global Peace Index.

​The study in full can be found at​https://merchantmachine.co.uk/safest-and-most-dangerous/