Perth 'as bad as Syria' - UK newspaper

Perth, Western Australia, vs Raqqa, Syria
Perth, Western Australia, vs Raqqa, Syria. Photo credit: Getty

Australians are crying foul after a UK newspaper labelled Perth one of the most dangerous places on Earth, alongside war-ravaged Syria.

In an online article titled 'Bad World', The Sun claimed Perth's "widespread crystal meth use" was a "dark secret" lurking beneath the city's tourist-friendly exterior.

It placed the city in a list alongside the Syrian city of Raqqa - war-torn and occupied by Islamic State since 2013; Ukraine's Kiev - also engulfed in war; and Honduras' San Pedro Sula - home to the highest murder rate in the world, at 173.6 per 100,000.

"The Middle East, the drug capitals of Latin America and many parts of Africa are all dismissed as 'dangerous' but a closer look at the West reveals it too has its problems," The Sun's article said.

West Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has blasted the report and says the city's seen offending drop by 15 percent over the past decade.

"The newspaper seems to have made an unsophisticated connection between methamphetamine usage and the relative safety of cities around the world," he told The West Australian.

"While meth use continues to be a significant issue for the community, Perth remains a safe place to live and visit."

Its Mayor, Lisa Scaffidi, has also been left incensed by the article, saying Perth ranks highly in global liveability rankings.

The Sun has yet to respond to the controversy about the article.