• Southport, Australia

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Regarding Amit Chaturvedi’s Feb. 26 letter: The perception of safety is one that is personal. If you are comfortable in a place, you have the perception of safety and security. The unfamiliar can seem frightening and stressful. Therefore, to say that a place is “safe” states only that this is one’s own personal perception and may not reflect the reality perceived by others.

Australia by no accounts is problem free; nor is Japan. The difference, though, is that, in Australia, if you are attacked, there is a good possibility that you will have the support of police and that the perpetrator will be tracked down. It is often stated that crime in Japan may go unreported, with the wider public probably viewing Japan as “safe.”

It is a misconception that random acts of violence are commonplace. I think this is true for any country. Most incidents of violence are perpetrated by someone who is known personally to the victim. To say that Australia is a society from hell is probably taking things a little far as this would depend on whether the observer was in fact talking about “Australians.” Sydney is ethnically diverse with large populations of different ethnic groups residing throughout the city and outlying areas. Often it is the case that although people reside in Australia, their passports and nationality identify them as not Australian.

anthony olsen

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