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I know that when planning a move it's natural to look at all kinds of things, and crime levels are one of these. The reality is, you can be affected by crime anywhere but if you're moving to an economically stable country crime rates are quite low. Adelaide has similar crime rates to the rest of Australia, and Australia has crime rates similar to much of Europe, Canada, NZ etc.
As a quick read of this thread and others like it shows, what tends to resonate are anecdotes of crime and highly publicised acts, meaning that people's perception of crime in their area is often very different from reality. It's also a subject that raises an emotive response ...
It's actually quite hard to compare crime rates because a) different jurisdictions define and categorise crimes in different ways, b) methods of prevention, reporting and handling vary massively (e.g. in some places, things like assault simply don't get reported), and c) it's hard to find truly comparable places – going off population or GDP alone misses so many other important factors.
In short, for most of the time, crime doesn't touch most of us. When it does, it could happen anywhere! Obviously this is not the case in some developing countries and in more troubled parts of the world where crime is a far more likely event.
In 2010, the Australian Federal Gov started producing an annual state-by-state comparison of a range of things – economic indicators, population, crime, health, education etc – called the State of Australian Cities. All of this can be found in census and ABS stats etc, but this document pulls a lot of stuff together into one place. The 2012 edition has recently been produced and this is from the section on crime:
"Are Australian cities safe compared to other cities around the world? Measuring safety is very difficult and only broad observations are possible. There are a number of ways to compare crime rates between countries. One way is by comparing rates of a signature crime like homicide, which in Australia are the lowest they have been for a century (ABS 1997, Dearden and Jones 2009). On this measure, Australia sits in the middle of the band of countries in northern Europe. There is a similar pattern for both property and violent crime more generally, suggesting that rates in Australian cites, taken as a whole, are about the level of most cities in northern Europe and much safer than many cities around the world (UNODC 2012)."
The full document is an interesting read and can be found here:
For an international context, the UN produces a survey of crime trends, comparing 30+ countries in various categories. I've just tried inputting the graphs but they aren't showing. I'll see later if I can add them separately. The general picture they show is that Australia simply doesn't have lower crime than many other places, despite what some migrants might believe. Finally, in answering the OP's original question, SAPOL produces crime stats for the state and in each area:
Last edited by jim and adel; 15-02-2013 at 12:40 AM.
When we were thinking of buying, we went to our prospective neighbours and asked them. Obviously you will get their personal view and this might include gossip and things way in the past but a) you get to suss out your maybe neighbours and b) you might get some valuable info.
If you imagine coming to South Australia will mean you will be safe and your kids will be able to frolic unsupervised on the beaches, parks and ovals, I think you might be disappointed. Actual life here is pretty much the same as anywhere else...kids get approached, teens get beaten up, people steal stuff, cars get stolen and sometimes even torched, and some people litter, graf and fail to pick their dog's poo up! But I still wouldn't live anywhere else!
I don't agree with the view that some criminals are only shooting each other and as long as you're not involved in organised crime you'll be unaffected. Even if I agreed with it, anyone so willing to shoot a rival or anyone they've fallen out with isn't the sort of person you'd want to accidentally shoulder bump in a pub or for your inexperienced P plate son to cut up on the freeway. It's not good that they're walking around amongst us whether or not they 'only' shoot each other.
When there was the shoot-out in the cafe in North Adelaide, someone I know was in there. He said it was bad enough that someone should walk in and begin firing, but he really didn't expect another customer to pull out a gun and start shooting back!
As I say, though, I don't accept that only those involved in organised crime are affected. What these gangs are involved in inevitably affects the community:
– they control the supply of drugs, and drugs habits get funded by break-ins, prostitution etc. It's a trade lucrative enough for people to shoot their way into getting a slice of it and it's paid for ultimately by the community;
– police in Sydney have today stated that teenage boys have been targeted and threatened with violence if they refuse to become involved in trafficking drugs on the gangs' behalf. It's believed that some parents have paid protection money so their kids will be left alone (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/02/22/07/00/bikie-crime-up-in-family-friendly-hills);
– the cost of policing the antics of these thugs is enormous, with dedicated teams set up to monitor their activities, special legislation written in an attempt to curb their power, and any number of court cases costing tens of thousands of dollars each (often frustrated by witnesses suddenly failing to appear after being 'persuaded' otherwise).
Who do you think pays for this?