12/4/14

#SwedeInMadrid - what makes people feel safe in different countries

As a Swede it is easy to get surprised about the many high fences and bars in front of the windows in Madrid.




 A Norwegian asked us, after having lived here for just one week, if it was very unsafe.
"There are these gated communities with high fences, guards and security cameras. Is Madrid that unsafe?" 
The thing is, we do not perceive it as unsafe. When I ask Spanish people about it, they say it is a safe city, but that the fences and bars are necessary. This confuses me.

In Sweden we do not have gated communities, we do not have bars in front of windows and the fences are usually not that high. But, there are alarms. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who have installed alarms in their houses to keep burglars away.

I have always wondered if that really makes a difference. Reading the magazine Villaägarna makes it easy to think so. At first glance.

One article stated that the risk for break-ins in a house is reduced if you have an alarm.
However, when looking at the figures in the same article you see that the reduction of the risk is really, really small.

  • Amount of houses with alarms installed that get broken into: 0,59 %.
    • That means about 6 out of 1000 houses.  
  • For houses without an alarm the figure is 0,72%.
    •  That means about 7 out of 1000 houses.
A ridiculously small difference in my opinion.

High fences in Madrid, alarms in Sweden. Do they really make us safer?

I think not. But they seem to make many feel safer. And maybe that is what counts.

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