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The Most Common Crimes in Australia

Many people wonder what the most common crimes in Australia are. Thankfully, we have answers for you. If you are looking for advice on how to avoid becoming a crime statistic and how to prevent your business from becoming a victim of crime, read on. We will take you through the statistics that can help keep you out of trouble. People often have questions about the most common crimes in Australia. After hearing so much about crime rates and the government’s approach to reducing crime, many Australians are curious about what crimes are most frequently committed here.

What Types of Crimes Are Committed in Australia?

Several crimes occur regularly in Australia and those include Assault, murder, fraud, vandalism, abduction and sexual assault. However, there is also a wide variety of less severe crimes that are committed within Australia. These include shoplifting, drug possession or trafficking and public disturbance. Every crime carries different penalties and regulations for sentencing so it is important to contact your local court about what laws apply to your case.

You should never attempt to deal with these legal matters on your own as they can be complicated and serious issues could arise from making mistakes when dealing with them. Your best course of action would be to consult with an experienced lawyer who can advise you on what steps you need to take to reduce or mitigate any consequences associated with these types of crimes occurring.

10 Most Common Crimes in Australia

Certain crimes are commonly committed in Australia, some more common than others. Consider this; a 2010 survey stated almost 6 million Australians have been the victim of at least one crime in the year preceding the survey. There are ten common crimes in Australia, which are:

1. Murder

Murder is the most serious crime in Australia. It comes with a life sentence, plus any time served before being sentenced for the offence. In some cases, the judge can decide to impose a non-parole period. This is called an indeterminate sentence. The maximum term a person can serve is life imprisonment.

Murder is the unlawful killing of another person. It is a crime in most jurisdictions throughout the world and remains punishable by law. As with other crimes, it can be divided into first-degree murder and other forms of murder depending on how serious the crime is deemed to be. A murder conviction usually carries with it the mandatory death penalty.

2. Assault

This crime involves physical contact or the threat of physical contact with another person who is not participating in an assault or pursuit. You commit a simple assault if you cause harm to another person without their consent. The penalty for assault is up to 15 years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both.

Assault is one of the most common crimes in Australia. In 2011-12, there were more than 1.4 million assaults reported by victims in NSW alone. Almost one in ten victims were children under 18 years old, and almost two-thirds were male. Three out of four victims were attacked by someone they knew.

The most common victims were men aged between 15 and 34 years old (26 per cent), followed by women aged 25 and 34 years old (21 per cent). Victims who were older than 65 years accounted for 10 per cent of assault incidents reported to the police.

3. Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a very serious crime in Australia, and for good reason. It’s not only a crime that can ruin your life, but it’s also a crime that can ruin the life of someone else.

More than 1.5 million Australians are assaulted each year, and between 60,000 and 100,000 are raped. Rape is the most common sexual offence committed against women, with about one in three Australian women being sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

4. Theft

Theft is a common crime in Australia. While property crime overall tends to be less common here than in other parts of the world, thefts relating to personal property are surprisingly high. These kinds of crimes are called larcenies and include shoplifting, carjacking and pickpocketing.

If you’re travelling overseas and worried about becoming a victim of theft or other criminal activity, it’s important to learn what exactly constitutes a crime in your destination country.

5. Drug offences

Drug offences such as possession and trafficking are an important part of Australia’s criminal law. They are often committed by people with significant mental health issues, drug addiction and/or criminal histories.

Despite the severity of these offences, they do not always result in custodial sentences. They can be dealt with through diversion programs such as Drug Courts, which have been established in several states and territories to provide treatment rather than punishment for people charged with a drug offence.

6. Stalking, Harassment and Threatening Behaviour

It’s important to gather information and evidence that proves that a crime has occurred so that you can take legal action against the perpetrator. Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour are crimes that can affect your life and your property. In a recent survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology, more than half of Australians (57%) have experienced stalking, harassment or threatening behaviour in the past five years.

Stalking is defined as a course of conduct involving repeated following and harassing behaviour that makes its victim feel fear, alarm or distress. It can involve visual surveillance or unwanted communication of a sexual nature.

7. Property Damage Offences

Property damage offences are the most common kind of crime reported to the police in Australia, although they often go under the radar. Common property damage offences include malicious damage to property and criminal damage. Misdemeanours like theft and fraud are also common, but relatively minor in scope compared to other forms of crime.

Most of those crimes involve break-ins and thefts — with thieves often targeting those who are at home while they’re gone, including elderly people and new mothers.

8. Road Traffic Offences

Road traffic offences such as speeding, drunk driving, failing to keep a vehicle off the road are among the most common crimes in Australia. If you’re convicted of one of these, you’ll lose your license for some time and pay a hefty fine. Failing to display your registration plate and operating a vehicle without insurance or with fake insurance is also on the list of illegal acts. Other traffic offences, such as driving while under the influence or driving with a suspended license, are much less serious.

The road traffic offences include:

  • Driving While Under the Influence
  • Driving while unlicensed
  • Drink-driving
  • Speeding
  • Dangerous driving

9. Public Order Offences

Public order offences are any criminal offence that is seen as being related to causing a reasonable fear of violence in a member of the public. This includes offences such as:

Aggressive begging, disorderly conduct, offensive behaviour, offensive language, assault, harassment, common assault, and indecent assault.

10. Shooting

Gun crimes have also been on the rise in AU. There have been lots of shootings, armed robbery, assault and threats by use of guns. This is an eye-opener promoting the regulation of firearms law in AU. This will limit the number of people who can access firearms legally and illegally.


Although Australia has seen a dramatic decrease in the past decade in overall criminal activity, it is still important to remain vigilant. It is the responsibility of every individual to protect their family and community. Anyone who commits a crime and harms another person should face the full force of the law. This ensures that people feel safe in their community. Reporting crime will help reduce crime rates in Australia.


1. What types of crimes are committed in Australia?

There are a wide variety of crimes committed in Australia, some more prevalent than others. The main types of crime range from low-level offences such as graffiti to high-level offences like terrorism and murder, among others.

2. How can robberies be prevented?

While there is no sure-fire way to prevent a robbery, taking basic precautions like installing an alarm system can make thieves think twice about breaking into your home.

3. When do Federal Crimes usually happen?

Federal crimes often occur during a federal investigation or prosecution, when individuals try to escape punishment by crossing state lines.

4. Which part of the country suffers the most from crime?

New South Wales (NSW) suffers more crime than any other state or territory across most offence types, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

5. How are crimes categorized?

In Australia, offences are categorized into two main categories: Summary offences and indictable offences. Summary Offences are minor criminal acts punishable by fines or imprisonment for a maximum of 12 months or both. Indictable Offences are more serious criminal acts that may be tried by a jury or magistrate’s court, depending on their severity.






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