7 Worst Suburbs in Melbourne For Crime in 2024

May 14, 2024
worst suburbs in melbourne

Key takeaways:

    • Melbourne is generally safe, but certain suburbs have high crime rates, contributing to safety concerns.
    • Not all of Melbourne is unsafe, but specific western and south-eastern suburbs should be avoided due to safety issues.
    • Before considering living in these suburbs, always compare their crime rates and records for informed decision-making.

Image posted to Flickr by SqueakyMarmot

If you are an Australian native, you know how beloved Melbourne is. But like any city, there are certain suburbs with higher crime rates as well as the most popular areas.

To both residents and visitors, the Victorian capital is vibrant, dynamic, and full of interesting things to do. Melbourne, with its safety index rating of 81%, is one of the safest cities for you to live in, but there’s crime in all areas, and you might still come across some neighbouring suburbs with much higher crime rates.

Melbourne has a population of 4.5 million, and the cost of living in Melbourne can be quite high, particularly around Melbourne’s new suburbs.

Even with a high safety index rating, there are areas in the northern suburbs and city suburbs where the remaining 19% involves high crime related activities, as shown in the latest crime statistics.

In today’s list of the suburbs with rising crime in Melbourne, we’re using Victorian crime statistics, such as burglaries, as a determining factor. Additionally, we’ll classify our list according to regions.

This article aims to provide an analysis based on specific criteria the highest crime rates, based on recent data and metrics. Every suburb possesses its unique charm and potential and we do not intend to undervalue any community or region.

So, keep reading if you want to know more about crime and public perception in Melbourne city suburbs.

Additional Reading: Are you a Sydneysider? Explore the Worst Suburbs in Sydney instead!

Crime Rates in Melbourne in 2023

Melbourne’s crime rates in 2023 showed a mixed picture, with some categories decreasing while others increased slightly. Here’s a breakdown:

Overall Offences:

  • Total incidents: There were 34,372 offences recorded in the Melbourne local government area in the year ending March 2023, down slightly from 34,461 in the previous year. 
    • This translates to a rate of 14,638.2 incidents per 100,000 residents, also a decrease of 6.3% compared to the year before.
  • Types of offences: Theft was the most common type of offence, followed by drug possession and stealing from motor vehicles.

Specific Categories:

  • Major offences: These saw a slight increase of 1.2%, with 5,542 incidents recorded in the year ending March 2023.
  • Personal offences: These decreased by 2.5%, with 8,805 incidents recorded.
  • Property offences: These remained relatively stable, with 19,525 incidents recorded, a slight decrease of 0.3%.

Here’s a bar chart to visualise the comparison of total incidents across different categories:

Crime Statistics Agency Victoria

It’s important to note:

  • These figures represent the Melbourne local government area, which doesn’t encompass the entire metropolitan area. Crime rates can vary significantly between different suburbs.
  • Crime data can be influenced by various factors, including reporting practices and changes in legislation. Therefore, it’s crucial to compare data over time with caution and consider the context.

Central suburbs in Melbourne

Melbourne’s bustling city center offers a vibrant mix of entertainment, dining, and culture. However, this energy can also translate to higher crime rates.

Compared to other areas of Melbourne, the central suburbs of CBD, Docklands, Southbank, and Carlton tend to see a greater frequency of specific incidents.

Additionally, crime rates increased between 2022 and 2023.

Suburb2022 Crimes Committed2023 Crimes Committed
North Melbourne1,4631,271
Crime Statistics VIC
  • Theft: These areas are popular with tourists and offer a wealth of opportunities for pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft from vehicles.
  • Public Disorder: With a large nightlife scene, there can be a higher incidence of alcohol-related offenses, vandalism, and public disturbances.
  • Drug Offenses: Drug use and possession are more prevalent in these central areas.

It’s important to note that crime rates can fluctuate, and these areas also offer many safety measures. Here, you’ll find a higher police presence, CCTV cameras, and well-lit streets.

Western suburbs in Melbourne

According to crime statistics data from Victoria Police, some of the western suburbs of Melbourne that tend to have higher rates of robbery offenses include:

  • Melton
  • Brimbank (areas like Sunshine, St Albans)
  • Maribyrnong (Footscray, West Footscray)
  • Wyndham (Werribee, Tarneit)

Sunshine West

Image credit: By Presste – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Median house price: $707,000
  • Median unit price: $528,000
  • Median rent: $390

Sunshine West is one of the Melbourne suburbs dominated with married couples. The median price for a house in this suburb is about $707,000 with an average median rent of about $390 weekly.

Although house prices vary, you can expect to pay about $1800 – $2399 monthly in mortgages if you decide to acquire property in this suburb. So far as public transport goes, I think you will not have a hard time getting to the City Centre or anywhere else.


Image credit: By Zs9 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Median house price: $829,000
  • Median unit price: $490,000
  • Median rent: $425 per week

Maidstone suburb is just 8 km away from Melbourne CBD. It is one of the north-western suburbs with a total population of 9,389. If you’re looking to move to Maidstone, it’s important you know that it’s mostly a residential region.

However, you should also note that Maidstone has one of the highest crime rates in Melbourne. 11490 criminal cases were recorded in 2022, the highest number of crimes in Kent.

Caroline Springs

Image credit: By Graeme Bartlett – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Median house price: $829,000
  • Median unit price: $490,000
  • Median rent: $425 per week

Caroline Springs is only 21 km west of Melbourne’s CBD. As one of the outer suburbs, it is only natural to believe that it is one of the most dangerous suburbs in Melbourne. Notably, the Crime Statistics Agency noted that there was a 14% rise in criminal cases in the suburb in 2022.

South east Melbourne CBD suburbs

Now delving into the south-east, areas like Dandenong and Cranbourne have also garnered attention due to their higher crime rates.

Brighton, Malvern, and Glen Iris, though considered affluent, aren’t completely free from crime either.


Image credit: By NouvelleAuteur – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Median house price: $730,000
  • Median unit price: $500,000
  • Median rent: $380 weekly

Frankston is a suburb south east of Melbourne CBD. It is one of the cheapest suburbs to rent in Melbourne. The suburb has a population of about 37,000 individuals. Since it is north of the Mornington Peninsula, most people refer to it as the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula.

According to the Crime Statistics Agency, the criminal incident rate per 100,000 individuals decreased by 0.3% to 5,306.6 in 2022. The overall crime rate in the suburb is 67.57%, which is high compared to other suburbs in Melbourne.

Frankston South

Image credit: By NaotaOe – Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain
  • Median house price: $1, 170,000
  • Median unit price: $703, 500
  • Median rent: $450 weekly

If you have lived in Australia, you know that Frankston South and Frankston are not the same thing. Frankston South is 43 km away from Melbourne’s CBD and has a population of 18,801 individuals.

Interestingly, both Frankston and Frankston South share the same postcode (3199). However, they are separate suburbs. You will typically find young families in this suburb.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the sole source for making decisions about where to live. Crime rates can fluctuate, and many factors contribute to a suburb’s overall safety. Should you find any discrepancies or feel there’s crucial information missing, please do not hesitate to inform us. We value accuracy and are always open to constructive feedback.

People also ask

worst suburbs in melbourne

Which is the safest suburb in Melbourne?

Some of the safest suburbs in Melbourne include places like Essendon, Glen, and Strathmore. But Malvern East, an inner east bayside suburb, and Toorak have their pockets of issues too. There’s also a growing trend of gentrification in suburbs like Yarra and Coburg, which might influence crime rates in the future.

Where to get the cheapest houses for sale in Melbourne?

There are many places you can leverage to get the cheapest houses in Melbourne, especially in regional Victoria and emerging areas around Geelong. However, consider local government areas and school districts, as schools in the area greatly impact property values.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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