Robber

High-crime areas you should avoid buying in

Rates and Fees verified correct on December 5th, 2016

Australia isn’t renowned for having a high crime rate, but it's worth seeing which areas may be susceptible to a higher incidence of crime in your state.

The safety of your neighbourhood and your bricks and mortar are crucial factors to consider when deciding where to settle down, so it’s worth knowing which states have higher crime rates and unemployment trends than others.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found a lull in the rate of major offence categories across the nation including homicide, robbery, kidnapping/abduction, unlawful entry with intent, and motor vehicle theft.

What is concerning, however, is the rise in victims of sexual assault. In particular, South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) saw an increase in female assault victims of 11%, 3% and 8% respectively from 2013 to 2014.

The NT saw the sharpest rise in the number of robbery victims which was up by 17% from 2013-2014.

Interestingly, the NT, TAS and the ACT saw increases in the number of unlawful property entries with intent which increased by 7.4%, 7.0% and 7.3% respectively.

As unemployment is an indicator of criminal activity (according to the motivational theory), we take the recorded crimes within each state and pair this with unemployment data to reveal the suburbs that may have a higher prevalence of crimes in each state.

Then, using the available data from each state government website, we break-down the crime statistics at the suburb level. However, there is variation in the way that the available data is calculated, categorised and represented.

State-by-state comparison of crime

New South Wales (NSW)

Offence20132014Change
Murder8575-10
Sexual assault8,1218,192+71
Kidnapping/abduction3053050
Armed robbery1,9841,772-212
Unlawful entry with intent49,90246,229- 3,673
Motor vehicle theft15,11414,110-1004

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

Many of the major offence categories took place in residential dwellings. In 2014, there were: 50 murders, 5,776 sexual assault incidences, 127 kidnapping/abduction incidences, 197 armed robbery cases, and 23,223 unlawful entries that took place within residential property.

The latest ABS unemployment data from the December 2015 quarter shows that the NSW suburbs with the highest unemployment rates include Yarrabah (55.3%), Bidwell- Hebersham- Emerton region (20.7%), Lethbridge Park (20.3%), Tamsworth (19.9%), and Cessnock (17.4%).

So if you’re thinking of buying in NSW, you may want to steer clear of these suburbs.

Assault

The NSW Crime Mapping Tool allows you to see which regions have a high crime rate (per 100,000 people) for different offences from October 2014 to September 2015.

The NSW rate per 100,000 population for assault is 852.6 and the two year trend is described as “stable”. Here are some regions with the highest assault rate per 100,000.

AreaRate (per 100,000)Two year trend
Bourke7,301.0Stable
Walgett4,354.2Stable
Moree Plains3,287.4Stable
Coonamble2,361.3Stable
Cobar2,000.0Stable
Bogan1,916.7Stable

Homicide

The NSW rate per 100,000 population for homicide is 1.4 per 100,000. Here are some areas with the highest homicide rates.

AreaRate (per 100,000)Two year trend
Bogan99.1N/A
Cobar40.8N/A
Bourke33.0N/A
Murray27.4N/A
Wakool24.8N/A
Gunnedah15.9N/A

Robbery

The NSW rate per 100,000 population for robbery incidents is 39.6. Below are some of the regions with the highest rates of robbery.

AreaRate (per 100,000)Two year trend
Bourke99.1N/A
Blacktown95.1Stable
Moree Plains84.8N/A
Parramatta80.7Down 22.2% per year
Fairfield66.0Stable
Penrith65.8Stable

Sexual Offences

The NSW rate per 100,00 population for sexual offences is 153.5. Here are some of the areas with the highest rate of sexual offences.

AreaRate (per 100,000)Two year trend
Bourke958.0Stable
Cabonne563.8Stable
Bogan429.6N/A
Walgett426.6Stable
Wentworth410.5Stable
Lachlan371.2N/A

Theft

The NSW rate per 100,000 for theft is 3,262.9. Below are some regions with the highest rate of theft.

AreaRate (per 100,000)Two year trend
Bourke13,809.1Stable
Moore Plains9,013.8Stable
Walgett6,752.0Up 21.1% per year
Cobar5,816.3Stable
Armidale Dumaresq5,206.1Stable
Wagga Wagga5,031.9Stable

Victoria (VIC)

Offence20132014Change
Murder4658+12
Sexual assault3,9204,169+249
Kidnapping/abduction138122-16
Armed robbery1,3651,142-223
Unlawful entry with intent44,91544,457-458
Motor vehicle theft12,05113,227+1176

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

In 2014, there were several offences committed on VIC residential property. There were; 41 murders, 2,665 sexual assault cases, 45 kidnaps/abductions, 131 armed robberies, and 30,309 unlawful entries.

Based on the suburbs with the highest unemployment rates in VIC (as at December 2015), you may want to avoid purchasing real estate in Dandenong (21.9%), Broadmeadows (21.7%), Doveton (21.1%), Campbellfield - Coolaroo (19.7%) and Meadow Heights (18.4%).

Location break-down

The following data has been obtained from the Victoria Police 2013/2014 Crime Statistics “Summary of Offences Recorded” report.

Eastern Region

Offence2012/2013 (rate per 100,000)2013/2014 (rate per 100,000)% Change
Homicide2.22.934.1
Assault668.2729.39.1
Robbery29.828.3-5.1
Abduction/kidnap8.410.323.3

North West Metro

Offence2012/2013 (rate per 100,000)2013/2014 (rate per 100,000)% Change
Homicide4.23.4-19.7
Assault912.7896.2-1.8
Robbery86.273.2-15.2
Abduction/kidnap16.313.0-20.0

Southern Metro

Offence2012/2013 (rate per 100,000)2013/2014 (rate per 100,000)% Change
Homicide2.32.2-5.0
Assault783.7760.0-3.0
Robbery44.742.3-5.3
Abduction/kidnap11.69.9-14.3

Western Region

Offence2012/2013 (rate per 100,000)2013/2014 (rate per 100,000)% Change
Homicide3.72.7-27.2
Assault946.1896.5-5.2
Robbery22.821.7-4.8
Abduction/kidnap12.19.5-21.7

Queensland (QLD)

Offence20132014Change
Murder3953+14
Sexual assault4,0194,063+44
Kidnapping/abduction5431-23
Armed robbery989729-260
Unlawful entry with intent41,28933,857-7432
Motor vehicle theft10,4348,507-1927

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

In QLD residential property there were; 38 murders, 2,783 sexual assaults, 16 kidnaps/abductions, 114 armed robberies and 17,070 unlawful entries that involved the taking of property.

The areas with the highest unemployment rate in QLD as at December 2015 are; Aurukun (57.6%), Palm Island (53.6%), Kowanyama - Pormpuraaw (29.1%), Mount Morgan (26.2%) and Logan Central (24.0%), so think twice before buying a property in these regions.

Location breakdown

The following data has been obtained from the Queensland government “District Reported Offence Rates”.

Darling Downs

OffenceDec 2014 (rate)Dec 2015 (rate) Change
Homicide (Murder)00N/A
Assault25.0128.46+3.45
Robbery0.421.65+1.23
Abduction/kidnap00N/A

Gold Coast

OffenceDec 2014 (rate)Dec 2015 (rate)Change
Homicide (Murder)00N/A
Assault23.2831.57+8.29
Robbery2.932.53- 0.4
Abduction/kidnap0.731.26+0.53

Logan

OffenceDec 2014 (rate)Dec 2015 (rate)Change
Homicide (Murder)00.30+0.30
Assault27.6035.40+7.8
Robbery3.02.650.35
Abduction/kidnap1.200.59-0.61

North Brisbane

OffenceDec 2014 (rate)Dec 2015 (rate) Change
Homicide00.140.14
Assault26.6926.91+0.22
Robbery2.682.22-0.46
Abduction/kidnap0.420.14-0.28

South Australia

Offence20132014Change
Murder2111-10
Sexual assault1,3591,545+186
Kidnapping/abduction6867-1
Armed robbery778737-41
Unlawful entry with intent14,35113,070-1281
Motor vehicle theft3,6363,319-317

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

A total of 6 murders, 1,091 sexual assaults, 38 kidnaps/abductions, 53 armed robberies, 6,591 unlawful entries occurred on SA residential property in 2014.

In terms of the suburbs with the highest unemployment rates in SA, you may want to be skeptical about buying property in Elizabeth (33.6%), APY Lands (24.9%), Elizabeth North (24.3%), Hackham West - Huntfield Heights (22.3%), and Christie Downs (21.5%).

Location break down

The following data was taken from the South Australian government website.

Elizabeth (Local Service Area)

OffenceDec 2015
Murder0
Aggravated sexual assault24
Abduction, harassment and other offences10
Aggravated robbery9
Serious criminal trespass (residence)117

Hackham West - Huntfield Heights (South Coast Local Service Area)

OffenceDec 2015
Murder0
Aggravated sexual assault9
Abduction, harassment and other offences16
Aggravated robbery9
Serious criminal trespass (residence)51

Christie Downs (South Coast Local Service Area)- as above

OffenceDec 2015
Murder0
Aggravated sexual assault9
Abduction, harassment and other offences16
Aggravated robbery9
Serious criminal trespass (residence)51

Western Australia (WA)

Offence20132014Change
Murder3531-4
Sexual assault1,8251,942+117
Kidnapping/abduction1923+4
Armed robbery765648-117
Unlawful entry with intent35,43935,004-435
Motor vehicle theft8,7018,067-634

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

In 2014, the following offences were committed on WA residential premises; 18 murders, 1,399 sexual assaults, 7 kidnaps/abductions, 160 armed robberies, 18,466 unlawful entries.

The locations with the highest unemployment rate include; Halls Creek (35.9%), Derby - West Kimberley (25.5%), Girrawheen (24.4%), Balga - Mirrabooka (24.3%), and Roebuck (22.0%) in December 2015, so carefully consider your need to buy real estate in these areas.

Location break-down

The following data was obtained from the Western Australia Police Service Monthly Verified Crime Statistics 2015-2016.

Metropolitan region

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
Homicide70.3
Recent sexual assault1979.7
Burglary (dwelling)2,00499.1
Motor vehicle theft60830.1

Regional WA region

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
Homicide40.7
Recent sexual assault549.8
Burglary (dwelling)54699.0
Motor vehicle theft15027.2

Central Metropolitan District

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
Homicide10.2
Recent sexual assault389.3
Burglary (dwelling)444108.9
Motor vehicle theft12731.2

North West Metropolitan District

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
HomicideN/AN/A
Recent sexual assault477.2
Burglary (dwelling)46070.3
Motor vehicle theft16324.9

South Metropolitan District

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
Homicide61.2
Recent sexual assault428.2
Burglary (dwelling)45488.7
Motor vehicle theft14929.1

Kimberly District

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
Homicide12.6
Recent sexual assault1333.2
Burglary (dwelling)105268.5
Motor vehicle theft49125.3

Pilbara District

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
Homicide22.9
Recent sexual assault45.7
Burglary (dwelling)4767.1
Motor vehicle theft1115.7

South West District

OffenceDec 2015 (number)Dec 2015 (rate per 100,000)
HomicideN/AN/A
Recent sexual assault71.7
Burglary (dwelling)9151.3
Motor vehicle theft2313.0

Tasmania (TAS)

Offence20132014Change
Murder86-2
Sexual assault187216+29
Kidnapping/abduction000
Armed robbery7352-21
Unlawful entry with intent3,4603,703+243
Motor vehicle theft1,1301,249+119

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

In 2014, 6 murders, 147 sexual assault, 0 kidnapping/abductions, 19 armed robberies, 1,972 unlawful entries occurred on TAS residential property.

The highest unemployment suburbs in TAS are; Bridgewater - Gagebrook (24.3%), Ravenswood (21.9%), Rokeby (15.6%), Risdon Vale (14.3%), and East Devonport (31.1%) which may represent areas that have a higher crime rate than other TAS locations.

Location break-down

The following data was obtained from the Tasmanian Police Annual (June) 2015 Corporate Performance Report.

Hobart

OffenceLast YTDThis YTDChange
Robbery19190%
Property offences3,0743,1231.6%
Burglary23626211.0%
Property damage576493-14.4%
Stolen motor vehicles18122323.2%

Kingston

OffenceLast YTDThis YTDChange
Robbery53-40.0%
Property offences1,0081,14213.3%
Burglary11819766.9%
Property damage192140-27.1%
Stolen motor vehicles5349-7.5%

Bridgewater

OffenceLast YTDThis YTDChange
Robbery7814.3%
Property offences1,7981,740-3.2%
Burglary183129-29.5%
Property damage3033164.3%
Stolen motor vehicles172120-30.2%

North-east

OffenceLast YTDThis YTDChange
Robbery21-50.0%
Property offences55263014.1%
Burglary3937-5.1%
Property damage10677-27.4%
Stolen motor vehicles142578.6%

Devonport

OffenceLast YTDThis YTDChange
Robbery52-60.0%
Property offences2,0172,28713.4%
Burglary1421452.1%
Property damage343342-0.3%
Stolen motor vehicles40103157.5%

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Offence20132014Change
Murder000
Sexual assault237183-54
Kidnapping/abduction64-2
Armed robbery7486+12
Unlawful entry with intent2,0782,230+152
Motor vehicle theft676752+76

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

108 sexual assaults, 0 kidnaps/abductions, 11 armed robberies, and 1,083 unlawful entries were committed on residential property in the ACT in 2014.

In December 2015, the suburbs with the highest unemployment rates in the ACT were the ACT - East (16.4%), Chamwood (12.4%), Reid (12.2%), Florey (9.5%), and Scullin (8.8%), so ensure that you fully evaluate the safety of these areas before you settle down.

Location break-down

The following data has been obtained from the Australian Federal Police Crime Statistics online mapping tool. The source used is the ACT Policing PROMIS and Autocite as of 1 March, 2013.  There is no rate information available as the population is under 350 persons. The data is only available for the below regions.

Gungahlin

Offence2013
Homicide0
Sexual assault1
Burglary6
Property damage12
Motor vehicle theft2

Belconnen

Offence2013
Homicide0
Sexual assault0
Burglary23
Property damage89
Motor vehicle theft17

Northern Territory (NT)

Offence20132014Change
Murder179-8
Sexual assault366373+7
Kidnapping/abduction000
Armed robbery3246+14
Unlawful entry with intent3,1013,331+230
Motor vehicle theft771953+182

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) “Recorded Crime- Victims, 2014)

For NT offences, the following were committed in 2014 on residential property; 132 sexual assaults, 4 armed robberies, and 921 unlawful entries.

The regions with the highest unemployment rate, and which you might want to exclude from your location radar include; Thamarrur (19.7%), Sandover Plenty (18.2%), Yuendumu - Anmatjeve (18.0%), Barkly (15.3%), East Arnhem (13.3%), and West Arnhem (13.3%).

Location break-down

The following data was obtained from the Northern Territory Police government website.

Darwin

The Darwin region comprises Darwin city and the associated suburbs from Buffalo Creek, Berrimah and East Arm westwards.

Offence01/02/14 - 31/01/1501/02/15 - 31/01/16% change
Sexual assault136133-2.2
House break-ins760586-22.9
Property damage2,4902,327-6.5
Motor vehicle theft1,191933-21.7

Palmerston

The Palmerston region consists of Pinelands and Yarrawonga south to the Elizabeth River, closely approximating the Palmerston Local Government Area.

Offence01/02/14 - 31/01/1501/02/15 - 31/01/16% change
Sexual assault4131-24.4
House break-ins263247-6.1
Property damage783746-4.7
Motor vehicle theft521432-17.1

Alice Springs

The Alice Springs area includes the surrounding areas corresponding to the Alice Springs Local Government Area.

Offence01/02/14 - 31/01/1501/02/15 - 31/01/16% change
Sexual assault607423.3
House break-ins3964165.1
Property damage147015666.5
Motor vehicle theft28933817

Tennant Creek

The Tennant Creek region comprises the township and surrounding area.

Offence01/02/14 - 31/01/1501/02/15 - 31/01/16% change
Sexual assault95-44.4
House break-ins224290.9
Property damage12615623.8
Motor vehicle theft2111-47.6

Katherine

The Katherine region comprises the township and surrounding rural area closely approximating the Katherine Local Government Area.

Offence01/02/14 - 31/01/1501/02/15 - 31/01/16% change
Sexual assault3023-23.3
House break-ins748413.5
Property damage396238-39.9
Motor vehicle theft11092-16.4

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at finder.com.au. Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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