Crime across the regionMany countries across the region have a history of social unrest which in some cases can appear to correlate with the level of crime. In 2020, Myanmar had a low corruption index score, which indicates a high perception of corruption. Given the country’s turbulent past including civil war, it can be inferred that socioeconomic factors may have a link with the high levels of crime. New Zealand had the highest index score in the region, indicating a low perception of corruption.
Drug abuse was also typically higher in regions that have experienced social unrest. East Asia and Southeast Asia displayed the highest number of drug users with Myanmar recording large amounts of drugs seized. Countries with more developed economies, jobs, and educational opportunities recorded lower drug abuse. Oceania had the lowest number of drug users than any other Asia-Pacific region.
Other crimes committed across the region include intentional homicide and robbery. Although the intentional homicide rate has decreased in South Asia, the rate remained higher than that in East and Southeast Asia.
Piracy has plagued the region for many years. The number of piracy and armed robbery incidents has fluctuated over the past decade. With access to several lucrative commercial trade routes, along with seas being difficult to police, pirates have sought opportunities and targeted ships known to have valuable cargo aboard. Alongside piracy, cargo theft of goods while still on land has seen a notable rise throughout the region.