by Oleksandr Vasylenko, Alumni Scholarship Recipient and LLM student in the Department of Legal Studies
When it comes to cities with over a million residents, safety can become a concern, as crime levels frequently rise proportionally to the population. Therefore, tourists and soon-to-be Vienna visitors keep wondering: how safe is Vienna really?
Starting by looking at the country as a whole, Austria was ranked the fifth safest country in the world, ahead of Sweden and Switzerland. According to this ranking, violent crime and homicides constituted the lowest portions of crime and were almost unnoticeable compared to other countries. Moreover, the country enjoys friendly relations with its neighbors, which don’t question its independence and don’t induce instability in the region. Assessing the country’s response to COVID-19, vaccines are readily available and PCR-tests are free, which is really unique in Europe.
With respect to Vienna, the crime rate is considered to be low for crime categories such as homicides, robberies, sexual assault, and drug-related crimes. In addition, for crimes such as racial violence and car theft the rates are very low. The city largely benefits from regular police patrols and a high number of police officers in general. Furthermore, on metro stations, there are emergency buttons which people can use to call for help.
From personal experience, Vienna is one of the safest cities in Europe. However, during the period of four months living in this city, I have witnessed the use of cannabis on the streets and a few instances of cat calling, so visitors to Vienna should be ready for that. Despite the low crime rates in Vienna, there is still the risk of becoming a victim, so basic safety rules should always be remembered.