Is your house in the danger zone? | Compare the Market
 
 
 
 
 

Every Aussie across the country deserves to feel safe at home. By and large, Australia is a fairly safe place to live, with the OECD Better Life Index ranking Oz 7th out of 36 other countries.

‘Safe as houses’ is a relative expression, though, and not every dwelling in Australia is as safe as can be. Click through to your state and find out which areas are the safest, and least-safe in terms of property crime below:

Where are the riskiest areas in Oz?

Taking published data from each jurisdiction and giving a basic analysis shows which areas have historically experienced more crime. It’s worth noting that each state handles their data slightly differently, so comparing between states can only give an indication. Finally a disclaimer, when mentioning a crime ‘rate’, this refers to the offence count per 100,000 people.

In early 2016, the Australian Crime: Facts and Figures report from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) was released. The great news is that the majority of crimes are decreasing across all states, making Australia in increasingly safe place to be.

Each state and territory classifies its offenses differently, so these stats should be used as an indicator only. Tasmania has the lowest per capita offence rate of all states, and Western Australia has the highest. Of the three most populous states, Victoria has the highest offence rate, followed by Queensland and New South Wales.

State Offence name* Population estimate Offence count Rate per 100,000 population
NSW Break and enter 7,544,000 31,573 432
VIC Burglary 5,940,470 49,682 836
QLD Unlawful entry 4,691,000 31,606 659
NT Gaining unlawful entry 244,602 1,540 642
TAS Burglary 515,000 1947 380
SA Serious Criminal Trespass 1,677,000 8,525 508
WA Burglary dwelling 2,589,000 26,158 1,010

*Offences have been matched as closely as possible for this study

What these stats do show is that even the sparsely populated areas are subject to crime, so no home is completely safe from loss due to property theft. Therefore taking appropriate steps to protect your valuable assets and possession makes financial sense. These tips from Victoria Police give a good overview.

New South Wales

There’s good news for NSW residents as rates of ‘breaking and entering for dwellings’ are down 7.1% (Jan 2014 to Dec 2015). The heat map tool provided by the NSW bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows that generally the highest rates of breaking and entering are in the northern rural regions, with a tendency to the west.

Rate of B&E, NSWImage source

Excluding the areas with low populations, the top 8 areas with the highest rates of property crime are highlighted on the map image above, with the raw data in the table below.

Stats note: Crime per 100,000 is a good way to assess risk to the individual. For example, if there are 200 crimes per year in your area and 400 people, you have a 50% chance of being a victim of crime. However, if your areas homes 4,000, your chance is 5%. When looking at the rate, it’s good to be aware that very low populations will have high rates, even if the actual offence count is low.

Area Offence count Population Offenses per 100,000 people
Bourke 88 3,027 2,907
Coonnamble 106 4,235 2,503
Wellington 174 8,819 1,973
Walgett 134 6,799 1,971
Armidale Dumaresq 445 25,284 1,760
Moree Plains 245 14,145 1,732
Narromine 105 6,849 1,533
Gilgandra 62 4,477 1,385

Rate of B&E per 100k, NSWImage source

Excluding the areas with low populations, the top 8 areas with the highest rates of property crime are highlighted on the map image above, with the raw data in the table below.

Stats note: Crime per 100,000 is a good way to assess risk to the individual. For example, if there are 200 crimes per year in your area and 400 people, you have a 50% chance of being a victim of crime. However, if your areas homes 4,000, your chance is 5%. When looking at the rate, it’s good to be aware that very low populations will have high rates, even if the actual offence count is low.

Area Offence count Population Offenses per 100,000 people
Bourke 88 3,027 2,907
Coonnamble 106 4,235 2,503
Wellington 174 8,819 1,973
Walgett 134 6,799 1,971
Armidale Dumaresq 445 25,284 1,760
Moree Plains 245 14,145 1,732
Narromine 105 6,849 1,533
Gilgandra 62 4,477 1,385

5 Areas that have a lower than average crime rate despite having a high population:

  1. Casey
  2. Glen Eira
  3. Whittlesea
  4. Monash
  5. Boroondara

These could be classed as Victoria safest suburbs for property crime.

5 areas with a low population, but higher than average crime rate:

  1. Campaspe
  2. Wellington
  3. Mildura
  4. Greater Shepparton
  5. Latrobe

The break and enter crime rate in Victoria ranges from 224 per 100,000 population to 1,387. There isn’t a geographically discernable pattern to the statistics, with high crime rates in Mildura to the North West, Latrobe to the south east, Shepperton to the North and other more highly populated central areas.

Map showing regional areas and number of ‘break and enter/burglary’

Image source

Low offense rate areas also do not follow a pattern, with Moyne to the south west, Alpine to the north east, and Mount Alexander, the Yarra Ranges and Mansfield encircling Greater Melbourne. The two maps below show the crime rate and actual offense count for each area in Victoria.

Map showing metropolitan areas and number of ‘break and enter/burglary’

Image source

To view the source of this information and stats on other crime types, see crimestatistics.vic.gov

Queensland

There’s good news for Queenslanders as ‘unlawful’ entry rates have dropped continually over the last 3 years.

Queensland is divided into 5 policing regions, Brisbane, Central, Northern, South Eastern and Southern. Within these there are between 2 and 4 police districts. The map below colour codes these districts; hover over the circles to see the unlawful entry stats for the 2014-15.

Image source

In addition to the map above, the table shows each of the 5 regions and their ‘unlawful entry’ stats, then the same stats per district.

Region Number of unlawful entry offences Population Per 100,000 population
Brisbane 9,270 752,435 1,232
Central 5,294 245,775 2,154
Northern 5,537 179,365 3,087
South Eastern 6,205 417,564 1,486
Southern 5,300 206,467 2,567
Total Queensland 31606 4,796,055 659

 

District/Division Number of unlawful entry offences Population Rate Per 100,000
Ipswich Police District (Southern) 1,609 231,511 695
Capricornia Police District (Central) 1,352 237,193 570
Darling Downs Police District (Southern) 1,398 242,288 577
Far North Police District (Northern) 3,063 278,202 1,101
Gold Coast Police District (South Eastern) 3,002 553,875 542
Logan Police District (South Eastern) 3,203 338,942 945
Mackay Police District (Central) 1,189 184,056 646
Moreton Police District (Southern) 1,557 238,073 654
Mount Isa Police District (Northern) 373 33,363 1,118
North Brisbane District (Brisbane) 4,121 720,455 572
South Brisbane Police District (Brisbane) 5,149 778,971 661
South West Police District (Southern) 736 114,821 641
Sunshine Coast (Central) 1,404 341,606 411
Townsville Police District (Northern) 2,101 242,330 867
Wide Bay Burnett (Central) 1349 255,977 527

Not a fan of the numbers? Below is a short summary of the findings.

  • Mount Isa and Far North are the two districts with the highest per capita rate of unlawful entry; they are both in the northern region. However, Mount Isa also has the lowest offense count, 10 times lower than their neighbouring district, Far North.
  • The densely populated regions of South and North Brisbane have the highest offense counts, but average rates for the state. Of the two Brisbane districts, the more densely populated southern counted around 1,000 more offences, and had a higher rate per capita.
  • When analysing the rate of unlawful entry, three of the 4 lowest rates are all in the Central region.
  • Gold Coast has the third lowest rate, but their neighbor, Logan has the third highest, at almost double the rate of the Gold Coast.
  • All the southern districts are hovering around the average for the state.

From the graph above it’s clear to see there is a correlation between population and offence count in Queensland. However, there are a couple of regions where offence counts are high for the population, such as Logan, Far North and Townsville.

Northern Territory

It’s encouraging news for those in the Northern Territory, with the number of successful property break-ins dropping every year for the last 5.

The Northern Territory organises its crime statistics by urban centre, then grouping all other areas outside of this at “NT Balance”. The scatter graph below plots offence numbers against population.

If you’re not a fan of the numbers, these four points give you the basics.

  • Darwin has the highest population density and the highest recorded number unlawful entries to dwellings. This is a slightly above average rate for the state.
  • Alice Springs has a population 3 times lower than Darwin, but an offense count only 1.5 times lower. This gives Alice Springs an unlawful entry rate twice that of Darwin.
  • Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy have similar population figures, but Tenant creek has over double the offense count. This gives Tennant Creek the second highest offence rate in the NT.
  • NT Balance consists of all the areas outside defined urban centres, including urban fringes and remote communities. As an area NT Balance has the second highest population and the lowest offence rate. This may be due to a number of factors, including limited accessibility.
“Gaining unlawful entry, either forced or unforced, to a dwelling or other premises.”
Northern Territory  JAN 2015-16 Count Population Rate per 100,000
Darwin 573 84,586 677.4
Palmerston 229 33,883 675.9
Alice springs 382 28,611 1335.2
Katherine 77 11,165 689.7
Tennant Creek 40 3,627 1102.8
Nhulunbuy 25 3,898 641.4
NT Balance 244 78,831 309.5
Northern Territory total 1,570 244,602 641.9

Tennant Creek and Alice Spring have a much higher offence count per capita than other recorded areas. Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, and Nhulunbuy have rates very near to the state average, and property theft is least likely outside these rural areas.

To see the source of this information, or look at stats for other crime types, visit the source of this information: The Northern Territory Police Department website.

Tasmania

Total burglary offenses in Tasmania reached 1,947 (excluding cleared offences) from Jun 2014-15. This is an increase on last year of 345 offences, or a percentage increase of 22%.

The table below shows each division and its offence count, population, and rate for burglary offences.

Tasmania
Division Count Population Rate per 100,000
Hobart 262 50385 520
Glenorchy 269 45593 590
Kingston 197 51842 380
South East 322 73182 440
Bridgewater 129 33947 380
Launceston 427 66719 640
North east 37 21765 170
Deloraine 87 54375 160
Burnie 62 41333 150
Devonport 145 42647 340
Queenstown 10 50000 20

Data Source

Rates are all low in comparison with other states. For the area of Queenstown to have an estimated 50,000 residents, and only 2 burglary offences last year gives an extremely low rate.  News reports points to the south as being responsible for 70% of home theft, though the data from police.tas.gov says this is really around 61%. Between the South and North regions, there is an additional 80 thefts per 100,000 people per year.

Overall Tasmania is a safe state when it comes to property theft. Here is a good overview of the yearly stats from the Tasmanian Police.

South Australia

There are 13 policing jurisdictions in SA, 6 in Metropolitan areas, and 7 rural. Total offences across all areas increased between 2013-14 and 2014-15, but over the previous 10 year period a drop of 29.7% was recorded.

Serious criminal trespass offences – Residence
Prior rolling year – Feb 2014-15 Current rolling year Feb 2016-15 Variance
Metropolitan
Eastern Adelaide 509 527 +4%
Elizabeth 1,397 1,508 +9%
Holden Hill 1,100 1,084 -1%
South Coast 575 646 +12%
Sturt 1,676 1,569 -6%
Western Adelaide 1,212 1,305 +8%
Rural
Barossa 186 224 +20%
Eyre Western 289 383 +33%
Far North 215 288 +34%
Hills Fleurieu 281 302 +7%
Limestone Coast 248 239 -4%
Murry Mallee 268 255 -5%
Yorke Mid North 225 195 -13%

Each areas contribution to the offence statistics are given below. In addition to this, it’s worth noting that Metropolitan areas are responsible for 78% of serious criminal trespass offences.

Here are the main points from the data, see where your home might fit in.

  • Of the metropolitan jurisdictions, the three with the highest incidents of serious criminal trespass are Sturt, Elizabeth and Western Adelaide./li>
  • The serious criminal trespass instances in Eastern Adelaide and South Coast are around half that of the other metropolitan areas.
  • Of the rural areas Eyre Western, Hills Fleurieu and Far North have the higher instances of property crime.
  • Rates of serious criminal trespass are on average four times higher in metropolitan areas than in rural jurisdictions.
  • Serious Criminal Trespass involving a property increased by 2% across South Australia from February 2015 to Feb 2016.

South Australia Police do not release figures for population in each jurisdiction, making it difficult to accurately estimate the rate.

Western Australia

Western Australia doesn’t publish a rate or population figures for their divisional areas. This makes estimating the rate per district difficult. Therefore the “% of total” column looks at what percentage of the total offenses each area is responsible for.

As expected Metropolitan areas are responsible for the majority of offences at 77.5%. The three metropolitan areas with the highest proportion are North West, South East, and South, which account for 62.67% of all burglaries.

WA – burglary dwelling Count % of total
Total WA 26,158 100
Total metro 20,265 77.5
Total regional 5,893 22.5
Central metro 3,873 14.81
North west metro 5,420 20.72
South East Metropolitan District 5,425 20.74
South Metropolitan District (includes peel) 5,547 21.21
Goldfields-Esperance District 740 2.854
Great Southern District 560 2.14
Kimberley District 757 2.89
Gascoyne District 1,564 5.98
Pilbara District 606 2.32
South West District 1,244 4.76
Wheatbelt District 422 1.61

Author comparethemarket.com.au

Launched in September of 2012, Comparethemarket.com.au – operated by Compare the Market Pty Ltd (CTM) – has teamed up with a range of Australia’s insurance providers so you can compare some of the latest deals, in one place, side-by-side. The team behind comparethemarket.com.au have experience in insurance, comparison, customer service and digital. If this was a stuffy corporate monologue, we’d tell you that we’re a bunch of subject matter experts specialising in User Experience, Customer Insights & Online Strategies. But to be honest, it’s just as accurate (and a whole lot easier) to say that we’re a bunch of people who want to make your experience with online comparison better. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re forward-thinking, that we share an entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that we like to have a bit of a laugh too. We’re all a bit too addicted to chocolate, but no one’s perfect, really.

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