According to Queensland Police Service (QPS), Cairns crime rate for the year ending June 2022 was 15656 incidents per 100,000 population. This represents a 19% increase from the previous year.

Cairns Crime Index


(100 is safest)

Safer than 18% of most Australia cities

Cairns Crime Map

Cairns crime map

Is Cairns Safe?

Cairns has low safety metrics. Crime rates in Cairns are considerably higher than the average across all communities in Australia. Cairns is safer than 18% of all Australian communities and than 10% of Queensland cities and towns. However, theft is a common offence in Cairns.

Cairns Crime Statistics at a Glance

Has Crime in Cairns increased or decreased in the past 5 years? The chart below shows the 60-month historical trend of the number of offences that occurred in Cairns.

60-month trend of criminal incidents across Cairns
  • The number of criminal incidents recorded in the year 2022 was 23960, up 19% from 20095 incidents recorded in the same period last year.
  • Cairns is in the 10th percentile for safety, meaning 90% of Queensland urban areas are safer than Cairns and 10% of urban areas are more dangerous than Cairns.
  • Street safety to walk at night: moderate safety.
  • Common crime: theft.
  • Safest suburb in Cairns city: Kewarra Beach suburb.
  • Top areas to avoid in Cairns city (bad areas): Cairns City suburb.
  • The number of assault offences recorded in 2022 increased by 30% (670 Incidents) compared to the previous year..
  • There was no change in the number of murder offences recorded during the years 2021 and 2022.
  • The number of unlawful entry offences recorded in 2022 increased by 66% (1766 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of theft offences (excl. Unlawful Entry) recorded in 2022 increased by 30% (1340 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of robbery offences recorded in 2022 increased by 29% (34 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of unlawful use of motor vehicles (car theft) recorded in 2022 increased by 53% (455 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of vandalism offences (other property damage) recorded in 2022 increased by 8% (145 Incidents) compared to the previous year.

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Crime in Cairns: An In-Depth Analysis

According to AU Crime Rate’s analysis of the latest crime statistics from the Queensland Police Service (QPS), Cairns city is ranked safer than 18% of the cities and towns across Australia, regardless of population size. That means that Cairns crime rate is considerably higher than the average across all communities in Australia.

In Queensland, only about 90% of communities have a lower crime rate than Cairns. As a result, Cairns has low scores in public safety metrics.

If you are a resident of Cairns, your chance of becoming a victim of crime is 1 in 7 (based on the total crime rate of crimes against the person and property combined) while the Queensland average is 1 in 16.

Let’s take a closer look at Cairns’s crime statistics and see how it fares in terms of crimes against person and property crimes. This information is crucial because it can shed light on whether violent or property crimes or both, are the primary factors driving Cairns’s overall crime rate. So, are you curious to learn more about Cairns’s crime data and what they reveal about the community’s safety and security? Let’s dive in!

AU Crime Rate’s analysis reveals that against the person crime rate in Cairns is 2180 per one hundred thousand inhabitants while the Queensland average rate is 1097. So, one’s chances of becoming a victim of crimes against the person in Cairns is 1 in 45. The crimes against the person included in this analysis are homicide, assault, robbery, and other offences against the person.

From our analysis, we discovered that your odds of becoming a victim of a property crime if you live in Cairns is 1 in 10. This is equal to a rate of 9350 per one hundred thousand residents compared to a rate of 4773 per 100,000 residents for Queensland state. It’s worth mentioning that the property crimes tracked here include arson, fraud, handling stolen goods, unlawful entry, unlawful use of motor vehicles, other theft, and other property damage.

Cairns Crime Rates by Offences Division

DivisionNumber of CrimesCrime Rate (Per 100,000 Residents)
Crimes against the person33372180
Property and deception offences143099350
Other offences63144126

Cairns Crimes Against the Person (Violent Crimes)

These are violent crimes against people whether these are family violence or non-family violence. Basically, if someone does something to hurt or scare another person, it’s considered a crime against the person. This includes:

  • Other Homicide:  Other homicides are crimes that include attempted murder, murder conspiracy, and manslaughter. Attempted murder is when someone tries to kill another person but is unsuccessful. Murder conspiracy is when two or more people plan to kill someone. Manslaughter is when someone unintentionally causes the death of another person.
  • Assault and related offences: There are different types of assault, like serious assault, which is when someone causes really serious injuries as a result of a physical attack, and assault on police, emergency services or other authorised officers, which is when someone attacks a cop or a paramedic or someone doing their job. There’s also common assault, which is like when someone threatens to punch you or makes you feel scared for your safety.
  • Robbery: There are two types of robbery or mugging: aggravated and non-aggravated. Aggravated robbery is when someone uses a weapon like a knife or a firearm (armed robbery) or causes serious harm to the victim during the robbery, like hitting them with a bat or a gun. Non-aggravated robbery is when someone doesn’t use a weapon or cause serious harm during the robbery but still uses force or the threat of force to take something from the victim.
  • Other offences against the person: These include going armed to cause fear, threatening violence, deprivation of liberty, stalking, and torture. Going Armed to Cause Fear is when someone carries a weapon with the intention of making others scared. Threatening Violence is when someone uses words or actions to scare or intimidate someone else. Deprivation of Liberty is when someone is held against their will, and Stalking is when someone repeatedly follows or harasses another person. Finally, Torture is when someone intentionally hurts someone else very badly, usually to make them suffer or to get information.

My Chances of Becoming a Victim of a Crime Against the Person

1 in 45

In Cairns

1 in 90

In Queensland

Crimes Against the Person Comparison (Per 100,000 Residents)

Violent crimes against the person in Cairns city vs Queensland in Australia

Crimes Against the Person: Cairns vs Queensland

Cairns population: 153042

Queensland population: 5156138

CrimesTotal Criminal IncidentsQLD Total Criminal IncidentsCrime Rate (Per 100,000 Residents)QLD Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
Other offences against the person3027156197139
Homicide (Murder)34520.87
Other Homicide26611.3

It’s important to note that the crime rates for sexual offences are not included in the previously mentioned data for Cairns city. Here is Far Northern region data for these offences that can be used as a benchmark for comparison.

CrimesTotal Criminal IncidentsQLD Total Criminal IncidentsCrime Rate (Per 100,000 Residents)QLD Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
Rape and Attempted Rape19828246755
Other Sexual Offences472477116193
Sexual Offences (Total)6707595228147

Cairns Offences Against Property

These are crimes related to stealing or damaging property or deceiving someone for personal gain. Property crimes include:

  • Theft: It can be committed in various forms such as shoplifting, stealing from a person’s home, or taking a vehicle without permission. Other examples include stealing a bicycle, snatching a purse, or taking items from an unattended bag.
  • Unlawful entry (burglary): Aggravated and non-aggravated burglaries are examples of burglary. Aggravated burglary involves the use of weapons, threats, or violence during the break-in, while non-aggravated burglary does not involve such factors.
  • Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle: Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle is when someone uses/steals a car, a bicycle, or other vehicle without the owner’s permission or without legal authority. 
  • Arson: Arson is a criminal act of intentionally setting fire to a property, building, or forest (bushfire) without lawful or justifiable reason. 
  • Handling Stolen Goods: Handling Stolen Goods is a criminal offence that involves dealing with property that has been stolen. For instance, if someone buys a bike from a person they know stole it, they are committing the crime of Handling Stolen Goods. Similarly, if someone sells a stolen phone to someone else, they are also committing the crime. Even if someone receives a stolen item as a gift or in good faith, they can still be charged with the offence if they knew or ought to have known that the property was stolen.
  • Fraud: Fraud is a type of criminal activity that involves deceiving or misleading someone for personal gain. Examples of fraud include things like pretending to be someone else to access their bank account, selling fake products or services, or making false insurance claims.
  • Property damage: This refers to intentional or accidental harm caused to someone else’s property, such as vandalism, or graffiti.

My Chances of Becoming a Victim of Offences Against Property

1 in 10

In Cairns

1 in 20

In Queensland

Offences Against Property Comparison (Per 100,000 Residents)

Property offences in Cairns  vs QLD

Against Property offences: Cairns vs Queensland, Australia

Cairns population: 153042

Queensland population: 5156138

CrimesTotal Criminal IncidentsQLD Total Criminal IncidentsCrime Rate (Per 100,000 Residents)QLD Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
Other Theft (excl. Unlawful Entry)577712320137752389
Unlawful Entry4430467832895907
Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle131418092859351
Handling Stolen Goods2675153174100
Other Property Damage1972373091289724

Other Offences

Other Offences is a group of crimes that covers many areas, including drugs, prostitution, gambling, and traffic. This includes drug crimes, prostitution, selling alcohol without permission, gambling and racing offences, breaking domestic violence protection orders, trespassing and vagrancy, weapon crimes, disorderly conduct, stock-related crimes, traffic violations, and other miscellaneous crimes.

Other Offences Comparison (Per 100,000 Residents)

Other offences chart of Cairns city

Other Offences: Cairns vs Queensland

Here is a breakdown of some of the other offences that we mentioned before.

CrimesTotal Criminal IncidentsQLD Total Criminal IncidentsCrime Rate (Per 100,000 Residents)QLD Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
Drug Offences1785482171166935
Trespassing and Vagrancy3105680203110
Liquor (excl. Drunkenness)8723505746
Weapons Act Offences2316258151121
Traffic and Related Offences152543253996839

Cairns Crimes per Square KM

Crimes per square KM in Cairns vs QLD in Australia

How many murders were in Cairns city in 2022?

According to Queensland Police Service (QPS), there were 3 murders in Cairns city in 2022. The number of other homicides (which includes attempted murder, murder conspiracy, and manslaughter) was 2.

What’s the most common crime in Cairns city?

According to the latest available data from Queensland Police Service (QPS), the most common type of crime in Cairns city is theft.

What is the crime rate in Cairns city?

The overall crime rate in Cairns city, as measured by the number of reported offences per 100,000 population was 15656 in the year ending June 2022.

However, it’s important to note that this is an aggregate figure that includes all types of crime, and some types of offences are more prevalent than others. Additionally, crime rates can vary by location, with some areas experiencing higher rates of certain types of crime than others.

Is Cairns city a safe place to live in?

Cairns city is safer than 18% of cities and towns across Australia and the crime rates are considerably higher than the average across all communities in Australia. Compared to Queensland cities, Cairns city is safer than 10% other communities in the state which are considered low safety scores in Queensland.

Is Cairns city safe at night?

According to Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, 55% of crimes in Cairns city occur between 6 PM and 6 AM so, it’s moderate safety to walk alone in Cairns city at night.

What suburb has the highest crime rate in Cairns city?

Cairns City is the suburb with the highest rate of reported criminal incidents in Cairns city with a rate of 128121 incidents per 100,000 population, according to QPS 2022 data. Cairns City suburb is safer than only 1% of Queensland suburbs.

What is the safest suburb in Cairns city?

Kewarra Beach is the safest suburb in Cairns city with a rate of 2153 incidents per 100,000 population as per the QPS report. Kewarra Beach suburb is safer than 75% of Queensland suburbs.

However, it’s important to note that low crime rates do not necessarily guarantee safety, and that crime can occur anywhere. Hence, it’s essential always to stay vigilant and take appropriate safety measures.

Cairns Crime Rate by Suburb

Cairns suburbsTotal crimes in 2021Total crime rate in 2021Total crimes in 2022Total crime rate in 2022
Redland Bay54431966513825Woodford
Springfield Lakes45626465173000Weipa
Pacific Pines68140956954179Walkerston
Surfers Paradise644524379684225880Toowoomba
Buderim55617706402037Sunshine Coast
Eight Mile Plains69445286614313Nelly Bay
Albany Creek29117763542161Mount Morgan
Maroochydore276013399312915191Mount Isa
Forest Lake872383910514627Maryborough (Qld)
The Gap30217472791614Landsborough
Palm Beach100161239555842Kilcoy
Burpengary94957608194971Jacobs Well
Sunnybank Hills92751309755396Innisfail
Deception Bay18459404214210918Highfields
Pimpama1372558216636766Hervey Bay
Bracken Ridge70740508454841Emu Park
Labrador1526817317059131Charters Towers
Varsity Lakes65339567004241Cedar Vale
Ormeau79249537694810Cedar Grove
Upper Coomera1495549711894372Cairns
Redbank Plains1955804321658907Bundaberg
Alexandra Hills69842417824752Boonah

Note: This article doesn’t have detailed data for family violence, victims, female offenders, reoffending, sexual offences, stalking, and youth crime. For more information about these topics, check our resources page.


  • Queensland Government Statistician’s Office
  • Queensland Police Service (QPS)

Greater Capital City Statistical Area

Greater Brisbane