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Chicago third among U.S. cities in new safety report

by Kelly McCabe

People in Chicago are regularly inundated with news about the city’s danger and violence, but a new report shows that the country’s third-largest city is safer than typically thought. In the Safe Cities Index 2017, Chicago ranks No. 19 globally and is the third-safest U.S. city, behind San Francisco and Los Angeles.

For the report, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks 60 global cities with 49 security indicators, including digital, health, infrastructure and personal. While the average safety rating is 70 points, Chicago’s score is 82.21. The safest city in the index, Tokyo, has a score of 89.8.

The study notes that no U.S. city ranked in the top 10 in infrastructure safety, but Chicago landed in the top 10 in digital safety, along with other U.S. cities San Francisco, New York and Dallas. Overall, however, the Economist Intelligence Unit notes that cities’ overall security is falling, with most scores below their 2015 totals.

The organization says that the index is designed to help policymakers address specific issues their cities face.

“At least in the developed world, more cities are devoting resources to digital security. Seoul, for one, improved its ranking in the category by 29 places by reducing the number of computers infected with viruses and the frequency of identity theft,” the EIU said. “But significant gaps in safety remain. In many instances, it’s a matter of resources — financial, human and political. Yet in others, it’s a question of understanding. The latter is easier to bridge and cities can start with identifying the problems and understanding how they’ve been solved elsewhere.”

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