Burglary AKA Unlawful Entry with Intent: Statistics UK and Australia Compared

burglarRemember this guy? The burglar? I first showed his ugly face on my post called Crime Rates: Australia versus the UK from just over four years ago.

At that time I tried to compare household burglary rates between the UK and Australia, but some of the quoted figures I found for these break-ins varied quite considerably. The article ended up being rather inconclusive, but today I am a little less confused. Today, the figures I’ve been looking at make far more sense.

First, a couple of definitions.


In the UK the offence is known as ‘burglary’ and defined as:

(1) A person is guilty of burglary if—

(a) he or she enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or
(b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

Unlawful entry with intent

In Australia the offence is known as ‘unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)’ and the precise definition may vary slightly from state to state. Broadly speaking though, it appears to be the same offence as burglary, being described by the Australian Institute of Criminology as:

  • The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence.

So, it seems reasonable to me that when comparing burglary figures from the UK with UEWI statistics in Australia, we are looking at the same crimes.

Burglary and UEWI UK and Australia compared

The latest available government figures for Australia are for 2014, so in order to compare like for like, I will also be looking at 2014 figures for the UK. Except the figures aren’t exactly for the UK, they are more specifically for England and Wales.

England and Wales

  • According to UKCrimeStats there were 426,691 burglaries in England and Wales (population approximately 56 million) during the year of 2014.


  • According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) there were 181,879 victims of unlawful entry with intent in Australia (population approximately 23 million) during the same year, 2014.

Burglary/UEWI rates per 100,000 population

  • England and Wales = 762
  • Australia = 791

So, there you have it, Australia does have slightly more burglaries, but there’s really not much in it.

What about the US Bob?

Good question.

United States

  • According to the FBI there were an estimated 1,729,806 burglaries in 2014, a decrease of 10.5 percent when compared with 2013 data and a 20.2 percent decrease on 2010.

So just as in Australia, 2014 was a quiet year for burglaries in the US as well. With an estimated population of around 318 million, the burglary rate per 100,000 population is:

  • US = 544

So the US has the lowest burglary rate of the three countries.

Protecting yourself from break-ins

This interesting info–graphic turned up in my inbox last week, I thought it was worth sharing. One thing you may notice is that it claims there are over 200,000 burglaries in Australia each year and I’ve just told you it’s 181,879. The ABS do state though that the 2014 figure represents a five-year low and it is down from 194,529 for 2013.

So I’m sure the 200,000+ figure would have been accurate at some point, it’s pleasing to see though that burglaries appear to be on the decline.

So, here are some interesting facts about burglaries. Don’t blame me if you end up buying a dog, and if you do, don’t take it for a walk at 5 PM on a Friday in October…

burglary infoMy thanks to basswindows.com.au for the information.

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