According to South Australia Police (SAPOL), South Australia crime rate for the year ending December 2022 was 6092 incidents per 100,000 population. This represents a 8% increase from the previous year.

South Australia State Safety Rank


(1 is safest)

South Australia holds the 6th rank in safety metrics among all Australia states

South Australia Crime Map

South Australia Crime Statistics at a Glance

Has Crime in South Australia 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 South Australia.

60-month trend of criminal incidents across South Australia
  • The number of criminal incidents recorded by SA Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) in the year 2022 was 108306, up 8% from 99838 incidents recorded in the same period last year.
  • When considering our safety metrics across all Australian states, South Australia has been found to rank sixth. This indicates that there are five other states in Australia that have better safety metrics than South Australia. So, it suggests that South Australia’s safety metrics are not relatively strong compared to the other states in the country.
  • Common crime: theft from shop.
  • Safest suburb in South Australia: Echunga suburb.
  • Top areas to avoid in South Australia (bad areas): Elizabeth suburb.
  • The number of assault offences recorded in 2022 increased by 6% (1193 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of homicide offences recorded in 2022 increased by 14% (5 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of burglary offences recorded in 2022 decreased by 4% (448 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of theft offences recorded in 2022 decreased by 11% (4832 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of robbery offences recorded in 2022 increased by 26% (128 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of motor vehicle thefts recorded in 2022 increased by 9% (291 Incidents) compared to the previous year.
  • The number of vandalism offences (Property damage) recorded in 2022 increased by 4% (755 Incidents) compared to the previous year.

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Crime in South Australia: An In-Depth Analysis

In South Australia in 2021–22, police dealt with 25,217 offenders, marking a 19% drop from the previous year. Additionally, the offender rate per 100,000 people decreased from 1,995 in 2020–21 to a record-low of 1,573.

In 2021–22, about half of all offenders (49%) in South Australia faced charges related to either illegal drugs, with 6,726 cases (27%), or actions meant to harm others, which involved 5,548 cases (22%). Importantly, the number of people involved in drug offenses has been going down for six years straight, dropping by a significant 29% (2,700 cases) compared to the previous year. This decrease also shows up in the number of offenders per 100,000 people, which went from 602 to 419 in the same time frame.

Three-quarters of all offenders (18,933 individuals) were male. The male offender rate exceeded the female offender rate by more than threefold, with 2,401 male offenders per 100,000 males compared to 768 female offenders per 100,000 females.

There were 1,971 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years, making up 8% of all offenders. This number of young offenders decreased by 5% from the previous year.

Compared to the overall offender rate in South Australia, the youth offending rate was lower, with 1,161 youth offenders per 100,000 people aged 10 to 17, while the general offender rate was 1,573 per 100,000 people.

Among youth offenders, the most common primary offense was acts intended to cause injury, accounting for 29% of cases, which equals 563 offenders.

In South Australia during 2021–22, there were 3,760 offenders who were of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. Out of these Indigenous offenders, a substantial 44% had their main offense as acts intended to cause injury, which amounts to 1,663 individuals.

There were 36,329 police proceedings in South Australia.The most frequent offense that led to these proceedings was illicit drug offenses, making up 21% of the total or 7,760 proceedings.

South Australia Annual Crimes

DivisionNumber of CrimesCrime Rate (Per 100,000 Residents)
Offences against the person216511218
Property and deception offences856144816

Note: The only crime data that SAPOL presents is Property and person crimes. So you shouldn’t compare the crime rates of suburbs or urban areas with any other areas in another state in Australia.

South Australia 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:

  1. “Acts Intended to Cause Injury” is a legal category that includes different types of crimes where someone intentionally tries to harm another person. There are subcategories within this, including:
    • Assault Police: When someone intentionally attacks a police officer while they’re doing their job.
    • Common Assault: This involves deliberately using force or threats to make someone fear they’ll be hurt. It doesn’t necessarily result in serious injuries.
    • Serious Assault Resulting in Injury: This is when someone intentionally harms another person, causing them significant injuries.
    • Serious Assault Not Resulting in Injury: Even if serious harm doesn’t happen, if someone tries to cause it intentionally, it can still be a crime.
  2. Homicide and Related offences: These are categories of crimes related to taking someone’s life:
    • Murder: This is the most serious type of crime where someone intentionally kills another person.
    • Other Homicide and Related offences: This category includes various other crimes connected to causing death. These might involve different levels of intent or circumstances, like manslaughter or offences related to causing death through negligence or recklessness.
  3. Robbery and related offences: These are the categories of crimes related to robbery:
    • Non-Aggravated Robbery: This is a type of theft where someone takes property from another person using force or threats, but it doesn’t involve additional serious factors.
    • Blackmail and Extortion: These offences involve forcing someone to give you money or property by using threats or information against them. Blackmail is when you threaten to reveal embarrassing or damaging information, while extortion includes broader threats of harm or force.
    • Aggravated Robbery: This is a more severe form of robbery. It happens when someone uses weapons or inflicts serious harm or injury during the robbery. These factors make the crime even more serious and result in harsher penalties.

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

1 in 81

In South Australia

1 in 73

In Australia

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


Breakdown of Against the Person Offences in South Australia

South Australia population: 1777698

CrimesSA Total Criminal IncidentsSA Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
Acts intended to cause injury (Assault)196511105
Abduction, harassment and other offences41924
Blackmail and extortion935
Other offences against the person133475

Here is a breakdown of the major Crimes against the person

CrimesNo, of offencesRate
Common Assault5047284
Serious Assault resulting in injury3070173
Serious Assault not resulting in injury10544493
Aggravated sexual assault129473
Non-aggravated sexual assault43524
Non-assaultive sexual offences39422
Total Sexual assault and related offences2123119

South Australia Offences Against Property

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

  1. Property damage and environmental offences: These are categories of crimes related to damaging property and environmental violations:
    • Other Property Damage and Environmental: This is a broad category covering various offences related to damaging property or breaking environmental rules. It includes different types of related crimes not mentioned elsewhere.
    • Graffiti: Graffiti involves illegally drawing or writing on buildings or walls without permission, which damages property and is against the law.
    • Property Damage by Fire or Explosion (Arson): Arson is when someone intentionally sets fire to property, causing damage or destruction. This category focuses on property damage caused specifically by fire or explosions, often with criminal intent.
  2. Serious criminal trespass: These categories are related to serious criminal trespass, commonly referred to as burglary, and other unlawful entries with different intents:
    • Other Unlawful Entry with Intent: This covers various unauthorized entries into different places where the purpose may not fit into the categories below.
    • Unlawful Entry – Non-Residence: This is when someone breaks into a non-residential place, like a store or office, with the intention to commit a crime, like theft or vandalism. It’s not about homes.
    • Unlawful Entry – Residence: This is about unlawfully entering someone’s home with criminal intent, like to steal or harm. It’s specifically about intrusions into houses.
  3. 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.
  4.  Fraud, Deception, and Related offences: These are categories of crimes related to fraud and deception in South Australia:
    • Other Fraud, Deception, and Related offences: This covers various types of fraudulent and deceptive activities that don’t fit into specific subcategories. It’s a broad category.
    • Obtain Benefit by Deception: This offence involves deceiving someone to gain an advantage or benefit that you aren’t entitled to. It means obtaining something unfairly through trickery or dishonesty.

My Chances of Becoming a Victim of Offences Against Property

1 in 20

In South Australia

1 in 25

In Australia

Offences Against Property Comparison (Per 100,000 Residents)

Property offences in South Australia vs Australia

Breakdown of Offences Against Property in South Australia

South Australia population: 1777698

CrimesSA Total Criminal IncidentsSA Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
Theft and related offences857841640
Serious criminal trespass (burglary)12477702
Fraud, deception and related offences4391247
Property damage and environmental209971181

Here is a breakdown of South Australia crime rate and offences count for the major property and deception offences.

CrimesNo, of offencesRate
Theft/Illegal use of motor vehicle3511198
Theft from motor vehicle10006563
Theft from shop12596709
Property damage by fire or explosion (Arson)80345
Unlawful entry - Residence5839329
Unlawful entry - Non Residence3636205

South Australia Crimes per Square KM

Crimes per square KM in South Australia vs Australia

How many murders in South Australia in 2022?

According to South Australia Police (SAPOL), there were 11 murders in South Australia in 2022. The number of homicides (which includes murders and other related offences) was 41.

What’s the most common crime in South Australia?

According to the latest available data from South Australia Police (SAPOL), the most common type of crime in South Australia is theft from shop.

What is the crime rate in South Australia?

The overall crime rate in South Australia, as measured by the number of reported offences per 100,000 population was 6092 in the year ending December 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 South Australia a safe place to live in?

South Australia ranks sixth in overall safety among Australian states. According to (BOCSAR), South Australia total crime rate in 2022 was 6092. So, South Australia is considered a safe and welcoming place to live and visit.

What suburb has the highest crime rate in South Australia?

Elizabeth is the suburb with the highest rate of reported criminal incidents in South Australia with a rate of 156782 incidents per 100,000 population, according to BOCSAR 2022 data. Elizabeth is safer than only 1% of South Australia suburbs.

What is the safest suburb in South Australia?

Echunga is the safest suburb in South Australia with a rate of 573 incidents per 100,000 population as per the BOCSAR report. Echunga is safer than 84% of South Australia 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.

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.


  • South Australia Police (SAPOL)
  • South Australia Government Data Directory

Greater Capital City Statistical Area

Greater Adelaide