Now in 6th position, behind Austria
After being promoted to 3rd position in 2017 – a moment of supreme national pride and touristic appeal – the country has been steadily losing ground due to what SIC describes as “increasing criminality”.
In truth, the ‘increasing criminality’ is localised to inner city areas – but it has been enough, with the country’s recent political in-fighting, to tip the balance.
The 2022 Global Peace Index thus sees Portugal drop to 6th position, behind Iceland (in first place), New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria.
Steve Killelea, the founder and director of the Institute for Economics and Peace which compiles the ranking, has sought to minimise Portugal’s descent, suggesting it refers to “a greater level of arrests, slight increase in levels of murder, slight increase in political instability and slight increase in the perceptions of criminality”.
The truth nonetheless is that violent crimes, particularly among gangs, have been widely publicised, albeit they tend to take place in and around large cities – essentially Lisbon and Porto.
In other words, for the majority of citizens in Portugal, day-to-day life has barely changed. This is still a country where one can leave doors open and find no one has noticed, or taken advantage. But for the purposes of a world ranking, we have sadly slipped.