Home & Contents | The latest blogs, articles & guides from our best storytellers The Burrow > Home & Contents

Is your house in the danger zone?

By Compare the Market | 25 May 2016
11 min read

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.

StateOffence name*Population estimateOffence countRate per 100,000 population
NSWBreak and enter7,544,00031,573432
VICBurglary5,940,47049,682836
QLDUnlawful entry4,691,00031,606659
NTGaining unlawful entry244,6021,540642
TASBurglary515,0001947380
SASerious Criminal Trespass1,677,0008,525508
WABurglary dwelling2,589,00026,1581,010

*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.

Image 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.

AreaOffence countPopulationOffenses per 100,000 people
Bourke883,0272,907
Coonnamble1064,2352,503
Wellington1748,8191,973
Walgett1346,7991,971
Armidale Dumaresq44525,2841,760
Moree Plains24514,1451,732
Narromine1056,8491,533
Gilgandra624,4771,385

Image 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.

AreaOffence countPopulationOffenses per 100,000 people
Bourke883,0272,907
Coonnamble1064,2352,503
Wellington1748,8191,973
Walgett1346,7991,971
Armidale Dumaresq44525,2841,760
Moree Plains24514,1451,732
Narromine1056,8491,533
Gilgandra624,4771,385

Victoria

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.

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’

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.

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.

RegionNumber of unlawful entry offencesPopulationPer 100,000 population
Brisbane9,270752,4351,232
Central5,294245,7752,154
Northern5,537179,3653,087
South Eastern6,205417,5641,486
Southern5,300206,4672,567
Total Queensland316064,796,055659

 

District/DivisionNumber of unlawful entry offencesPopulationRate Per 100,000
Ipswich Police District (Southern)1,609231,511695
Capricornia Police District (Central)1,352237,193570
Darling Downs Police District (Southern)1,398242,288577
Far North Police District (Northern)3,063278,2021,101
Gold Coast Police District (South Eastern)3,002553,875542
Logan Police District (South Eastern)3,203338,942945
Mackay Police District (Central)1,189184,056646
Moreton Police District (Southern)1,557238,073654
Mount Isa Police District (Northern)37333,3631,118
North Brisbane District (Brisbane)4,121720,455572
South Brisbane Police District (Brisbane)5,149778,971661
South West Police District (Southern)736114,821641
Sunshine Coast (Central)1,404341,606411
Townsville Police District (Northern)2,101242,330867
Wide Bay Burnett (Central)1349255,977527

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 2015-16CountPopulationRate per 100,000
Darwin57384,586677.4
Palmerston22933,883675.9
Alice springs38228,6111335.2
Katherine7711,165689.7
Tennant Creek403,6271102.8
Nhulunbuy253,898641.4
NT Balance24478,831309.5
Northern Territory total1,570244,602641.9

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
DivisionCountPopulationRate per 100,000
Hobart26250385520
Glenorchy26945593590
Kingston19751842380
South East32273182440
Bridgewater12933947380
Launceston42766719640
North east3721765170
Deloraine8754375160
Burnie6241333150
Devonport14542647340
Queenstown105000020

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 2014-15Current rolling year Feb 2016-15Variance
Metropolitan
Eastern Adelaide509527+4%
Elizabeth1,3971,508+9%
Holden Hill1,1001,084-1%
South Coast575646+12%
Sturt1,6761,569-6%
Western Adelaide1,2121,305+8%
Rural
Barossa186224+20%
Eyre Western289383+33%
Far North215288+34%
Hills Fleurieu281302+7%
Limestone Coast248239-4%
Murry Mallee268255-5%
Yorke Mid North225195-13%

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 dwellingCount% of total
Total WA26,158100
Total metro20,26577.5
Total regional5,89322.5
Central metro3,87314.81
North west metro5,42020.72
South East Metropolitan District5,42520.74
South Metropolitan District (includes peel)5,54721.21
Goldfields-Esperance District7402.854
Great Southern District5602.14
Kimberley District7572.89
Gascoyne District1,5645.98
Pilbara District6062.32
South West District1,2444.76
Wheatbelt District4221.61
Did you find this article interesting or helpful?

Written by Compare the Market

What’s our number one goal? To help every Australian make better decisions when researching & buying products that they depend on.

Read more from Aleksandr