NEWS

Melbourne Is Overtaking Sydney In A Less Desirable Way: Crime

It's not all matcha lattes and boho fashion in Australia's most liveable city.

09/07/2017 7:46 AM AEST | Updated 09/07/2017 7:49 AM AEST

Melbourne might be the world's most liveable city, but all that culture and nightlife appears to be coming at a price -- to its crime rate.

While New South Wales is enjoying historically low rates of robbery and break and enters, 2016 saw the number of robberies in Victoria rise by 22 percent to 2,983. It's the first time the state has experienced more robberies than NSW.

Victoria's robberies were also more likely to be violent than its northern counterpart's, with close to double the number of armed robberies in 2016, new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal.

Despite trailing NSW's population by around half a million people, Victoria is also leading the way when it came to break and enters, with almost 53,000 charges of unlawful entry with intent in 2016, compared to NSW's 41,200.

Homicide rates in Melbourne are also up, with the number of murders rising to 63 (up from 53 in 2015) in 2016, while the number of attempted murders stands at 49 (up from 40).

Sunny Sydney still leads the way when it comes to sexual assault, with 8,795 people becoming victims of sexual assault across NSW last year -- almost 200 more than the previous year, and far more than any other state.

Australian Bureau of Statistics / Canva

But even there Victoria is catching up, with the number of sexual assaults rising by 14 percent last year, to reach 5,381 victims.

Of course, a burgeoning nightlife isn't the only likely cause behind the rise in crime. Melbourne is Australia's fastest growing state, on track to overtake Sydney to reach 8 million people by 2051.

And the problem is not contained to Victoria.

In a worrying trend, crime rates are up nationwide in every category for the first time in six years, the ABS figures show.

Overall, sexual assault has risen by 20 percent across Australia -- or by 1,104 individual cases -- since 2015. It's risen in every state and territory except South Australia (down 4 percent) and the NT (down 6 percent).

In 2016, 95 Australian women, men and children lost their lives to family and domestic violence -- accounting for 42 percent of the total murders that year.

There were 4,500 more motor vehicle thefts across Australia in 2016 than the previous year, 36 more homicides and four more abductions.


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