Crime Rates: Australia versus the UK

Nothing happened the weekend. No visit to a sunkissed beach, no camping trips, no Australian citizenship ceremonies; no fetes, no fun-fairs or BBQ’s.

Not even a zombie walk.

So I had no idea what to write about today, until I saw this headline…

Household burglaries in Queensland out of control as police struggle to cope.burglar

So I decided to write about crime. Which of our countries, between Australia and the UK, suffer the most burglaries?

The case for and against the UK.

For my first witness, I bring you UKCrimeStats. According to them, there were something like half a million burglaries in England and Wales in the 12 month period from December 2010 to November 2011.

Source: National Picture

For my second witness I introduce to you TescoCompare. They have a page dedicated to UK burglary statistics, and they say there are 781,866 burglaries each year, one every 40 seconds.

Update May 2015: I’m afraid Tesco have now taken that page down, but I can assure you, the figures were as above.

The case for and against Australia.

I call the Courier Mail to the witness box. The RACQ released something called the Home Security Index Survey and yesterday the Courier Mail wrote this article about it.

As you know, we love a good survey here on BobinOz, so I searched feverishly around the Internet to try and get the full report.

It was nowhere to be seen. Stolen perhaps?

So we will just have to settle for the Courier Mail article, and you can read that here, which says that Queensland has 450 burglaries per week. Grabbing my calculator, that adds up to 23,400 burglaries a year in Queensland alone.

As Queensland contains about 1/5 of Australia’s national population, I thought that multiplying 23,400 x 5, so 117,000, would give me a rough estimate of the annual number of burglaries per year in Australia.

Apparently not.

My second witness from Australia is none other than the government themselves. They say “Household burglary is one of the most widespread crimes in Australia – with around 335,700 break-ins recorded in 2009-10.” Source: AIC

If that’s true, then why are Queensland police “struggling to cope” with a mere 450 burglaries a week? According to my maths, that’s almost one third of the national average!

Something’s not right.

I can’t really tell which country has the worst burglary crime rate, it depends whose figures I believe.

For example, the Tesco website says that there were 32,792 burglaries in West Midlands which, apparently, has a population of around 5.3 million people. Here in Queensland we apparently had 23,400 burglaries from a population of about 4.3 million.

On that basis, Queensland has fewer robberies per capita than the West Midlands.

But if the UK really does have 781,866 burglaries every year compared to Australia’s 335,700 break-ins, then Australia has far more burglaries nationally per capita than the UK.

After all, there are only about 22 million of us, there are 64 million in the UK.

Conclusion: which country is worse?

I don’t really know, there are so many issues with crime and statistics. The difference between crimes and reported crimes, for one. Each country’s definition of burglary could be different, so it’s hard to tell for sure.

But what I can be sure about is it’s important to research exactly where you choose to live, whichever country you live in. Where I live here in Australia, the crime rate is extraordinarily low. Yet I can point you to a suburb about 10 kilometres away where the crime rate is extraordinary high.

It’s well worth some research before you buy.

And finally…

I won’t even tell you about the Australian locksmith who claims there is one robbery every minute here in Australia. That would equate to over 525,000 robberies a year!

Wow! He must be desperate to sell those locks.

How is crime where you are? You can comment below…..

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • lee chan June 23, 2013, 5:54 pm |
    • lee chan June 23, 2013, 5:56 pm |

      stats heaven!

      • BobinOz June 24, 2013, 12:25 am |

        Yes, I have visited that site and it is stats heaven. It’s actually where I got some of my statistics from as well 🙂

  • John V April 9, 2012, 10:54 am |

    I moved out of Melbourne 3 years ago, after working in the Northern suburbs as an appliance mechanic for many years. What was once rural country, is now suburban. This happened in the space of less than 10 years or so . Traffic is unbelievable with many roads blocked at peak times. When I visit there, I am glad to leave. Unless you live near the city travel is difficult. The problem has gotten so big, the government hasnt been able to put in enough infrastructure to cope. If youre aged between 20 and 35 you have a job. Otherwise you had better have a profession. I live where many city convienences are 5 minutes away. The rest a peacefull 3/4 hours drive. Melbourne? Overrated overpopulated and the ratrace has begun and is running there.

  • Col B. April 9, 2012, 10:23 am |

    A worldwide survey done in the last half of the 2010’s says that Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world. I remember seeing this in the ‘Sun-Herald’ newspaper. The Survey concerns lower crime rates and better living standards. Hmm… can’t always believe what the Globalists’ owned newspapers says… Internet websites says that this city yoyos with European city, I think, Stockholm (Sweden) for 1st and 2nd.

  • John Oh March 2, 2012, 10:23 am |

    They wouldn’t dare to kill anyone here.
    That privilege belongs to the cops, and you wouldn’t dare try.
    Its so arranged by the government taking all the guns away.
    So I presume all the killings are done by the cops as they’re the only ones with guns these days…

    • BobinOz March 5, 2012, 4:36 pm |

      If only that were true.

  • Ricardo February 29, 2012, 4:57 am |

    Hi Bob!
    With regards to this part: “Yet I can point you to a suburb about 10 kilometres away where the crime rate is extraordinary high.”
    is that true? are there highly unsafe suburbs in Australia?
    For example, here in Argentina many people die every day due to crime…Are there places in Australia with that rate?
    Thanks a lot for you info!

    • BobinOz February 29, 2012, 10:43 pm |

      Sorry, maybe I gave the wrong impression. Where I live, crime is almost unheard of. 10 km away, they do have a little bit of crime. It’s all relative. I didn’t mean that 10 km away people are getting killed!

      But no, to answer your question, there aren’t places in Australia where people die every day as a result of crime. Australia is very safe, especially compared to Argentina.

  • Joel February 16, 2012, 3:36 am |

    Firstly, I want to let you know that your site is very helpful and very well organised. I really enjoy reading your posts. Congratulations!

    I am about to move into Australia from Venezuela with my wife and child. We are moving out of Venezuela because of the high crime rate we have here. Four of our main cities are in the top 50 most dangerous cities in the World (according to 2010 top 50 most dangerous ranking ), so your post just encourage me to move in as fast as we can.

    I know you are comparing Australia vs UK crime rate, but I want to add a bit of third world perspective to this discussion.
    We do not pay attention to burglaries stats, they are not even denounce to the police anymore. Crimes that mostly concern Venezuelan are: homicides, kidnapping, motor vehicle theft and personal robbery. 118 people are killed for every 100.000 Caracas residents (Caracas is the capital and most dangerous city of Venezuela). Caracas homicide rate is higher only in three other cities of the world: Ciudad de Juarez – Mexico, Kandahar – Afghanistan, and San Pedro Sula – Honduras. New Orleans – USA is ranked 22nd, where 52.02 people are killed out of 100.000 inhabitants. The top 50 most dangerous city list is closed by Bagdad – Iraq, where 22.08 people are killed for every 100.000 residents.

    None of Australia or UK cities is listed in this ranking, but four (4) USA cities are in: New Orleans, Saint Louis, Baltimore and Oakland.
    Maybe I will create a website like yours and start comparing Australia versus Venezuela, although I need to move in first.

    P.S. The mentioned ranking was based solely on homicide rates in order to create the list. Other ranking take into account another crimes.

    • BobinOz February 17, 2012, 12:09 am |

      Wow! You’ve got some pretty scary neighbourhoods in your country. When I read stuff like that, it makes me so very grateful that I do live here in Australia and that I did live in England, who also have a low crime rate.

      I hope you, your wife and child settle down here in Australia quickly and get to love the country is much is me and my family do. It is a safe country, a very safe country compared to where you’re coming from.

      Good luck, and thanks for your comments.

  • Sean February 14, 2012, 9:33 pm |

    It might be an idea to expand on this, burglaries (and most crime I suppose) can be directly related to drug use (or abuse), what is the level of drug use in Oz compared to the UK?
    And how does it ‘feel’ to live in Oz in regards to crime, does it feel safe? Do you get crowds of youths on street corners? Do you feel that crime is tackled seriously by the authorities (as opposed to the UK who seem to give out laughable punishments?!)
    Would be good to see the perspective from people living in Australia.

    • BobinOz February 15, 2012, 7:05 pm |

      Hi Sean

      I haven’t done any research, but I think drug abuse here is not too dissimilar to how it is in the UK. As for the streets, to me they feel way safer than they did back in England. Even the “rough” areas in Australia don’t look anywhere near as rough as some of the no-go zones in the UK.

      Just like as in the UK though, people here do think that criminals get let off lightly. No change there then!

  • John V. February 14, 2012, 6:54 am |

    Bob, statistics are a big problem in Australia. The government statistics are quite often misleading, (due to political pressures) but insurance companies will give you their statistics if you ask nicely. So maybe you have been looking in the wrong places. But even they will “ham” it up due to it being good for business to scare the heck out of you so youl’l insure.
    Here is the Gov stats website:
    It seems Poms are not only victims, but sometimes the cause for obvious reasons. It got too hot for them in sunny england….
    EG Alan Bond? (grin!) There are rumours re this….and the Perth mint swindle. It makes interesting reading….

    (This may be a little hot for your website to handle)

    • BobinOz February 15, 2012, 12:47 am |

      No, no, no!

      Us Poms are all thoroughly police checked before we get here these days, we are all perfectly innocent. It is not possible that a migrating pom would even consider breaking the law these days. It’s just not in our nature.

      But in the old days, way back when, yes, we were all crooks.

      Catch up John V. 🙂

      PS. Who is Alan Bond?

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