Highest Crime Rate in Australia in 2024

March 27, 2024
highest crime rate in australia

Key takeaways:

  • Alice Springs tops the list as Australia’s city with the highest crime rate in 2024, highlighting significant safety concerns.
  • Urban areas like Rockhampton, Cairns, and Darwin also grapple with escalating crime rates, from theft to drug-related offenses.
  • Efforts to combat these crime waves include targeted government initiatives and community engagement across affected cities.

Australia, known for its picturesque landscapes and iconic cities, also hosts some areas labelled as the worst cities in Australia regarding safety. As we approach 2024, a few of these locales are highlighted due to Australia’s highest crime rate.

The State of Crime in Australia in 2024

2024 reveals a mixed bag in terms of crime rates across Australian cities. Notable cities like Sydney and Melbourne maintain their allure despite the crime rates, whereas other areas face significant safety concerns. With comprehensive data analysis, we aim to understand the dynamics at play.

Crime Index Comparison of Selected Australian Suburbs

Alice Springs stands out with a particularly high crime index, leading to its recognition as one of the more dangerous cities in Australia due to prevalent assaults and property damage.

Similarly, cities like Rockhampton and Cairns, despite their natural beauty, grapple with crime related to theft and drug offenses. Darwin, too, experiences a notable rate of property-related crimes, challenging its multicultural vibrancy.

Alice Springs: A City with Cultural Richness and Growing Concerns

Alice Springs

Safety in Alice Springs, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight44.25Moderate
Safety walking alone during night18.87Very Low
Source: Numbeo
  • Crime Index: 70.35

Nestled in the heart of the Northern Territory, this city, despite its cultural richness and proximity to the vast red outback, contends with a high crime index, spotlighting issues like assaults and property damage.

The Northern Territory, as a whole, mirrors these concerns, recording the highest crime rates across Australian states and territories, drawing attention to the urgent need for interventions.

As of 2024, Alice Springs has become known as the city with the most dangerous city in Australia.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeIncidents
Domestic violence-related assaults122
Alcohol-related assaults87
Sexual assaults7
House break-ins123
Commercial break-ins34
Motor vehicle theft16
Property damage253
Source: NT Police, Fire & Emergency Services

Additionally, a comparison between 2021 and 2022 showed a dramatic spike in crime in Alice Springs. Assaults increased by 51%, domestic violence-related assaults by 65%, and alcohol-related assaults by 68%. Property damage went up by 55%, and commercial break-ins increased by 47%.

However, there was a slight decrease in reported sexual assaults, from 89 in 2021 to 79 in 2022​

For many, the city which was once a testament to Australian tradition is now one of the most dangerous cities in Australia.

Rockhampton: Unseen Dimensions of a Queensland Gem

Safety in Rockhampton, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight45.86Moderate
Safety walking alone during night23.10Low
Source: Numbeo

Crime Index: 67.62

Rockhampton, located gracefully along the serene bends of the Fitzroy River, is a testament to Queensland’s architectural and natural allure. Approximately 500 kilometers away from Brisbane’s hustle and bustle, it’s a city that carries a rich history and undeniable charm.

However, behind the picturesque surroundings are some of the highest crime rates in Australia and some of the worst neighbourhoods in Australia.

The primary issues confronting this city in Australia are property crimes like break-ins, thefts, and a burgeoning problem with drug-related offences.

Drug abuse, intertwined with socio-economic challenges, has led to an uptick in these crimes. It’s a pressing reminder that even in areas known for their scenic beauty and warmth, societal challenges persist and require attention.

For Rockhampton in 2024, the latest crime statistics show significant changes in various categories:

  • Assaults experienced a notable decrease, dropping by 25.61% from the previous reporting period.
  • Drug-related offenses saw an increase of 11.9%.
  • Theft also went up by 21.59%.

These changes are part of the broader crime trends observed in the region, reflecting efforts to combat violent crimes and the ongoing challenges in addressing property and drug-related offenses. The decrease in assaults may indicate the effectiveness of recent interventions and policing strategies.

However, the increases in drug-related offences and theft underscore the need for continued focus on these areas, including prevention initiatives and community engagement to address the root causes of these crimes.

Cairns: Between Coral Reefs and Crime Waves

Comparing Cairns’s crimes with QLD and Australia

Safety in Cairns, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight54.18Moderate
Safety walking alone during night28.38Low
Source: Numbeo
  • Crime Index: 61.41

Cairns, a doorway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is more than just its pristine beaches. Behind its natural beauty lies a pressing concern, emphasizing the importance of understanding what makes a suburb safe.

For Cairns in 2024, the crime statistics indicate a varied landscape of crime rates and trends.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Assault and related offences2548
Burglary/Break and enter4776
Property damage1924
Motor Vehicle Theft1406
Homicide and related offences5
  • Assaults saw a slight decrease of 0.89%.
  • Drug-related offenses increased by 1.5%.
  • Theft experienced a significant rise of 9.14%.

This data suggests that theft and drug-related offenses are areas of concern, with theft showing a notable increase.

Cairns had a total of 74 vehicles stolen by the time the data was reported, underscoring a specific issue with vehicle theft in the region.

This places Cairns in a position where it is considered less safe than a significant portion of Queensland cities and towns, with theft being the most common offence. Cairns is safer than 18% of all Australian communities, indicating a higher than average crime rate compared to the national context​

Darwin: A Tale of Cultural Diversity and Crime Duality

highest crime rate in australia

Safety in Darwin, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight57.23Moderate
Safety walking alone during night26.56Low

Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and traditions. Its coastal location and historical significance have always been points of pride. But recent years have shed light on a growing problem.

With a crime index of 61.3, Darwin faces significant challenges, especially concerning property-related crimes such as thefts, break-ins, and violent assaults.

There’s a growing consensus that while Darwin’s multi-cultural fabric is its strength, it needs more robust systems in place for crime prevention and rehabilitation.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeNumber
Domestic violence-related assaults74
Alcohol-related assaults109
Sexual assaults17
House break-ins35
Commercial break-ins21
Motor vehicle theft13
Property damage147
Source: NT Police

In Darwin, crime statistics from 2021 to 2023 show an increase in various offenses. Assaults rose by 19.51%, domestic violence-related assaults increased by 27.06%, and alcohol-related assaults by 16.12%. Sexual assault incidents went up by 31.97%.

There were also significant rises in house break-ins (43.83%), commercial break-ins (10.1%), motor vehicle theft (17.21%), and property damage (4.71%).

Overall, crimes against the person increased by 21.68% and crimes against property by 5.29%. These stats highlight a notable rise in crime rates across several categories in Darwin.

Geelong: Beyond The Coastal Charm Lies A Challenging Reality

Safety in Geelong, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight57.03Moderate
Safety walking alone during night29.80Low

Geelong stands out as Victoria’s hotspot for crime, reflecting broader national concerns. As cities grapple with urban challenges, many potential homeowners are considering safety factors in real estate in Australia.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Assault and related offences264
Breaches of orders (Domestic violence)439
Deception (Alcohol-related, approximate)102
Property damage200
Burglary/Break and enter (House break-ins)87
Robbery (Commercial break-ins, approximate)10
Theft (Motor vehicle theft, approximate)514
  • Crime Index: 59.83

Such a high rate reflects a more extensive national concern, hinting at the socio-economic divides and urban challenges faced by many Australian cities.

Local authorities are constantly working to find solutions, aiming to strike a balance between maintaining the city’s appeal and ensuring the safety of its residents.

Toowoomba: The Garden City’s Growing Concerns

Safety in Toowoomba, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight53.66Moderate
Safety walking alone during night27.25Low
  • Crime Index: 59.56

Toowoomba, often referred to as the “Garden City” due to its flower-rich parks and gardens, holds a different distinction as we move into 2024. With a crime index of 59.56, it stands as one of the most dangerous cities in Australia.

A deep dive into the city’s statistics reveals that while it flourishes with vibrant festivals and natural beauty, issues like theft, break-ins, and vandalism have grown over the past year. As with many cities on this list, socio-economic challenges play a significant role in shaping Toowoomba’s crime landscape.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Disorderly and offensive conduct1,166
Other government regulatory offences392
Drug dealing and trafficking311
Transport regulation offences170
Property damage164
Assault and related offences161
Burglary/Break and enter137

Townsville: From Coastal Elegance to Crime Worries

Safety in Townsville, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight53.55Moderate
Safety walking alone during night26.59Low
  • Crime Index: 61.54

Basking in the sunlit coasts of Queensland, Townsville has long been a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.

Reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlight an increase in incidents of unlawful entry with intent and motor vehicle theft. As crime levels rise, there’s a push in Townsville to augment its crime prevention initiatives and restore the city’s safety reputation.

In 2023, Townsville experienced changes in crime rates, with a decrease in assault by 3.42%, drugs by 33.49%, and theft by 23.15% from the previous period.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Disorderly and offensive conduct1,061
Drug dealing and trafficking400
Assault and related offences243
Burglary/Break and enter143
Property damage112
Miscellaneous offences108
Transport regulation offences85
Source: redsuburbs

These statistics provide an overview of crime trends in Townsville, reflecting efforts to address and reduce specific crime categories.

Wollongong: Between Beaches and Burglaries

Violent crimes increasing in an alarming trend in Wollongong
  • Crime Index: 48.96

Nestled on the scenic coast of New South Wales, Wollongong is a mix of surf, sand, and unfortunately, increasing crime rates.

With a crime index of 48.96, it’s essential to recognize the rise in reported incidents yearly, from home burglaries to personal thefts.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Justice procedures offences1,419
Transport regulation offences1,128
Assault and related offences431
Drug use and possession342
Property damage281
Miscellaneous offences209

Wollongong’s scenic coast sees a mix of surf, sand, and rising crime rates. As New South Wales’ government emphasizes safety, it’s worth exploring areas that might be termed the worst neighborhood in Australia.

While the city’s overall crime rate remains comparatively low compared to others on this list, efforts by the New South Wales government to enhance safety measures are in full swing.

Safety in Wollongong, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight62.95High
Safety walking alone during night35.16Low

Newcastle: Historical Roots and Modern Challenges

  • Crime Index: 48.01

Newcastle, a prominent city in New South Wales, carries a rich tapestry of history and industrial significance. As we dive into 2024, its crime index of 48.1 signifies a pressing concern.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Justice procedures offences428
Assault and related offences137
Transport regulation offences100
Property damage87
Burglary/Break and enter57
Other government regulatory offences45
Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour43

Also the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has noted a rise in vandalism and break-in incidents. As one of the major cities in Australia, Newcastle’s challenges shed light on the broader issues of safety in Australia, prompting concerted efforts to improve security and public awareness.

Safety in Newcastle, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight63.12High
Safety walking alone during night35.44Low

Gold Coast: Sun, Surf, and Safety Concerns

Gold Coast: Sun, Surf, and Safety Concerns
Sunset over Broadbeach on the Gold Coast

Crime index: 46.92

The Gold Coast, a celebrated holiday destination renowned for its beaches and high-rise skyline, concludes our list with a crime index of 46.92. Recent ABS data indicates a notable increase in theft, especially motor vehicle theft, and incidents of robbery.

Top crime types:

Crime TypeOccurrences
Justice procedures offences428
Assault and related offences137
Transport regulation offences100
Property damage87
Burglary/Break and enter57
Other government regulatory offences45
Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour43
Source: Redsuburbs

While the crime rate might be concerning, it’s crucial to remember that the Gold Coast remains one of the best places to live in Australia. With constant vigilance, public awareness campaigns, and law enforcement efforts, the city aims to reduce these numbers in the coming years.

Safety in Gold Coast, Australia

Safety walking alone during daylight71.67High
Safety walking alone during night40.02Moderate

Closing Thoughts: While these cities face challenges related to crime, they are also teeming with resilience, community spirit, and efforts to ensure safety.

Understanding crime statistics is essential, but so is recognizing the strength, culture, and beauty that each of these cities offers. As Australia moves forward, it remains a country of diversity, growth, and potential.

The Impact of Crime on Communities

Beyond numbers, the crime rate affects community safety, public perception, and quality of life. Understanding crime statistics is crucial for developing effective policies and interventions to ensure safety across Australian cities.

Common Threads:

Several factors intertwine to create fertile ground for crime in these regions:

  • Socio-economic Disparity: Many of these cities grapple with poverty,unemployment, and a lack of opportunity. These challenges can push individuals towards criminal activity as a means of survival or due to a lack of viable alternatives.
  • Drug Abuse: The presence of illicit drugs fuels crime in various ways. Addiction can lead to property crimes to fund habits, while drug trafficking creates gang violence and turf wars.
  • Disadvantage and Marginalization: Indigenous communities are disproportionately represented in crime statistics, often stemming from historical injustices, social exclusion, and limited access to resources and education.
  • Mental Health Issues: Untreated mental health conditions can contribute to criminal behavior, particularly among young people. A lack of accessible mental health services exacerbates the problem.

City-Specific Challenges

CityKey ChallengeGovernment Initiatives
Alice SpringsAlcohol abuse, domestic violenceAlcohol restrictions, community engagement, support services
RockhamptonDrug-related offensesDisrupting drug supply, support & education programs
CairnsTheft, drug offensesCCTV cameras, police patrols, community watch programs
DarwinProperty crimes, alcohol-related violenceStricter alcohol laws, increased police presence, rehabilitation programs
GeelongSocio-economic dividesCommunity development, youth outreach, mental health services
ToowoombaDrug abuse, property crimesAnti-ice taskforce, addiction & rehabilitation services
TownsvilleProperty crimes, motor vehicle theftCommunity engagement, improved lighting & CCTV
WollongongHome burglaries, personal theftsIncreased police patrols, targeted prevention initiatives, community awareness campaigns
NewcastleVandalism, break-insCommunity patrollers program, building neighborhood relationships
Gold CoastTheft, motor vehicle theftProactive patrols, tourist education, improved car park security

Conclusion: Navigating Crime Rates in Australia

As Australia moves through 2024, addressing the root causes of crime, from socio-economic disparities to drug abuse, is essential. Through concerted efforts from law enforcement and community programs, there’s hope for reducing crime rates and enhancing safety for all Australians.

Note: While the cities mentioned offer insights into crime dynamics, they are just one facet of what they truly represent. Each city, with its unique culture, history, and charm, is an integral part of Australia’s rich tapestry.

More on Highest Crime Rate in Australia

What city in Australia has the worst crime rate?

The city with the highest crime rate in Australia is Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory. The crime rate in Alice Springs is 1,395.4 per 100,000 people, which is more than twice the national average.

Which state has the highest crime in Australia?

The state with the highest crime rate in Australia is the Northern Territory. The crime rate in the NT is 1,016.6 per 100,000 people, which is more than double the national average.

What are the highest crimes in Australia?

The highest crimes in Australia are theft, assault, and robbery. Theft is the most common crime, followed by assault and robbery.

Is Canada or Australia safer?

According to the 2022 Global Peace Index, Canada is the 12th safest country in the world, while Australia is the 13th safest country in the world. So, both countries are considered to be very safe.

Resource Section

  1. NT Police, Fire & Emergency Services: The NT Police provides reliable crime data for various regions, contributing to the accuracy and trustworthiness of the content.
  2. Numbeo: Numbeo offers safety scores and crime statistics based on user-contributed data, enhancing the transparency and credibility of the crime rates presented in the content.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS): The ABS is a reputable source for national crime statistics, providing authoritative data that adds credibility to the crime analysis presented in the content.
  4. provides localized crime data, offering insights into specific crime types and occurrences in different Australian cities, bolstering the reliability of the crime statistics discussed in the content.
  5. NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research: The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research is a trusted authority on crime trends and patterns in New South Wales, contributing valuable insights to the discussion on crime rates in Newcastle and Wollongong.

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