A secure country

Surprisingly, the one constant feature that stands out from every survey of Andorra – and almost always near the top of every resident’s list of the advantages of living in the country – has nothing at all to do with tax. It is the sense of total security that attracts the most favourable comments. According to one international database a few years ago, Andorra had the lowest crime rate in the world, which is astounding if you also take into account that Andorra has about 9 million visitors a year (roughly 125 foreign visitors per head!). Hand guns are banned except under lock and key for target practice in clubs and even sporting shotguns are heavily controlled and for use only in one single hunting week in the autumn. Bag-snatching, mugging and random aggression are absolutely unheard of and (rare) burglaries make headlines. Banks have no bullet-proof glass and young girls hitchhike without fear. One of the best casual entertainments in Andorra is to walk down your local high street and note how many cars are parked with the keys in the ignition. Drop a wallet in the street and you have a better than 90% chance that someone will hand it in, intact. Not surprisingly, citizen vigilance is high, because no-one wants things to change.

Others from less fortunate countries are also stunned by the lack of petty corruption in daily life. It just does not happen – and woe betide anyone trying to bribe a civil servant or a policeman because one is likely to end up in Andorra’s thoroughly un-recommendable jail.

The lack of crime may also help to explain that Andorra has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Wikipedia puts life expectancy in Andorra at second only to Japan and for females Andorra is actually first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *